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Friendship, Community and Connections: Celebrating SCREEN31

13 Jun 2019

Fifty years ago in 1969, the first man landed on the moon, The Beatles gave their very last live performance and Monty Python gave us something completely different, flying their circus onto our TV screens for the very first time. But amongst all of the clamour, glamour and rock ‘n’ roll, something else was born; something quite extraordinary…The Gulbenkian Theatre!

An awful lot has happened in the last fifty years. There have been thousands of events held here, including theatre productions, film screenings, workshops, festivals and more. Not only that, but generations of young filmmakers, writers, producers and artists have passed through our doors, performing on stage, penning a script, or directing their very own show.

Hi Declan! Why did you join SCREEN31?

SCREEN31 I joined first and it started off being a documentary-making society. It was only meant to last six weeks, but throughout those six weeks, the members liked it so much that they decided to make it a society after that point. I got really involved and loved making films. It improved my skills; I wasn’t very strong with actual film making with a camera, but ever since joining the society, my skills, especially camera skills, improved drastically.

At the end of that first year, I asked if I could become one of the leaders and I volunteered to take on one of the leadership roles for the second year.

What is MEDIA31?

MEDIA31 is like a marketing agency and takes on the role of doing different graphic design jobs, film jobs or promotional material for different companies. Recently we’ve been doing podcasts and learning how to do features and working with other collaborators such as Dodgems and Floss and the Media Centre at the University of Kent. That’s been a blast as well. I hope to carry on with that.

At Gulbenkian Uncovered it feels a lot more student-led. You plan events and help the marketing team at Gulbenkian to create events; we decided that we wanted Baby Driver to be screened in September 2018 which was really cool.

What’s the best part of being in SCREEN31?

The best part of being in SCREEN31? I love being creative. It’s one of the skills that I would say is my strongest and I love delving into that even deeper and film making is one of those tools that I use to go into my creativity. SCREEN31 allows me to do that and it allows others to do that too. That’s why I became a leader; because I like helping others to explore their creativity too. SCREEN31 is definitely like a tight group family.

My favourite part was when we got tasked with doing a film in two hours, and I think there were only four of us. We made a really quick comedy skit; watching everyone’s reactions afterwards and seeing them all laughing (and one of them even crying) over the film made me so happy.

How do you feel these experiences have affected you?

When it comes to Gulbenkian in general, one of my favourite moments was when I got asked to help to film NT Connections. It fuelled my love for film, which I enjoyed a lot, and it also helped me get another job later on. I ended doing a film job in Belgium because they saw my documentary piece on the National Theatre. They saw that I had good style and knew how to make a documentary and interview and things like that, so they decided to take me to Belgium to do some film work, which was really fun.

Gulbenkian has definitely shaped my journey. I’ve taken some things from it: I’ve improved my film making skills, I became a leader, and I’m essentially doing a job as part of it.

I really like Gulbenkian; the people that work there always try to work collaboratively together and help each other out and push one another. At Gulbenkian, it always feels like they are trying to help each other out and give each other opportunities that they need. The atmosphere that comes from Gulbenkian always feels like everyone’s friendly. People are smiling and happy, cringey as it might sound. I just want to keep going with them and see where it can take me; to try and seek opportunities and help them out too if they ever need it.


This month marks 50 years since we first opened to the public. Join us as we celebrate 50 years of Gulbenkian this summer #Gulbenkian50 #GulbenkianStories


ART31 takes its name from Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that ‘Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities’.

ART31 is a vision created with, by, and for young people in Kent, championing the belief that all children and young people have an entitlement to access high quality arts and culture, to empower them to achieve their creative potential, and to genuinely engage young people as equal partners in any decision making that affects them.

The ART31 Youth Board is made up of young people from across Kent aged 13-25 who steer its governance, and influence policy and practice across the county and beyond, challenging the creative sector to examine existing ways of working and integrate young people into the core of their practice.

Our projects with young people

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