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Video says to butt out
Youth centre organizes recording for contest

Shawn Giilck
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 20, 2014

This group of children at the Inuvik Youth Centre wants you to just butt out.

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Keely Voudrach, left, and Leslie Kisoun share a laugh while they and other youth tape an anti-smoking video for the Get Reel Northern Ad Competition Feb. 11 at the Inuvik Youth Centre. - Shawn Giilck/NNSL photo

Seven girls turned out Feb. 11 to work on recording an anti-smoking video advertisement. The project was part of the Get Reel Northern Ad Competition and

The Get Reel organization is sponsoring the project, said Ali McConnell, the newly-minted executive director of the youth centre.

First place is a $1,000 prize and an airing on Northern television.

Smoke Screening is a program to create awareness among youth about the potential dangers of tobacco use. It's been around for 10 years, and the partnership with Get Reel is part of the 10th anniversary celebrations.

McConnell said Get Reel supplied the youth from the centre with an iPad Mini to do the filming. All participants have the use of such equipment to keep the format of the videos consistent.

"The contest is a joint project sponsored by the Yukon, the NWT and Nunavut," McConnell said. "There's two parts of it. The first part is the Smoke Screen Project, where the youth got to watch 10 of the top videos produced in the last 10 years about smoking. They had to vote on the one they thought was most effective.

"Then they had to produce their own video, which they're totally responsible for, including scripting and production."

Keely Voudrach and Leslie Kisoun were two of the participants. Both girls had previously worked on a Get Reel video project last fall when they helped produce a short horror film with equipment provided by the organization.

Voudrach said "we're making a video in a contest and we're trying to win."

The video traces a group of friends over the course of a year. It opens with the friends playing a game when one stops to smoke a cigarette. It then flashes forward one year to the same friends, who are now no longer able to play outside because of the effects of the tobacco.

"I think it's good to help people not to smoke so they don't get cancer and they don't get sick," Voudrach said. "I think that's a message that people around here will listen to. My dad smokes, my brother smokes, my uncles smoke and some of my aunties smoke."

"It's just not healthy for you," she declared.

Most of that is information Voudrach said she learned at school.

She acknowledged the idea will be a tough sell in both Inuvik and the NWT, which have some of the highest smoking rates in Canada.

Voudrach said she had filmed most of the 1:30 minute footage they had produced so far using the experience she gained on the horror movie production.

"I think it's a good thing," Kisoun added, "because it will encourage kids our age not to start smoking when they get older."

Seven youth worked on the project Feb. 11, McConnell said.

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