Foyle Search and Rescue short film wins an award

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A young Derry film-maker has been recognised for a short film highlighting the life-saving work of Derry’s Foyle Search and Rescue organisation.

Nathan Edgar was celebrated by the Royal Television Society for best ‘Short-form Factual’ titled ‘On The Edge’.

Described the film to the ‘Journal’, he said: “It tells the stories of Foyle Search and Rescue through the eyes of volunteers Gerard Burns and Jack Dillon and features interviews from survivors, the Health Minister Robin Swann, Justice Minister Naomi Long and the former Derry Mayor Graham Warke.”

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On receiving the award he had this to comment: “This was the first film that I ever made so for it to be recognised by an organisation like the Royal Television Society is surreal.

Nathan Edgar with his awardNathan Edgar with his award
Nathan Edgar with his award

"It was an amazing experience getting to spend time with Foyle Search & Rescue and learn more about the work that they do and I couldn’t be more thankful to them. A special mention to Gerry, Jack and Danny for sharing their story with me and making the film what it was.

“I think it’s so important that we get behind charities like Foyle Search & Rescue to make sure that they’re getting properly funded by our government so that they can keep carrying out the vital work that they do.”

Creating a film is no easy feat especially on such a sensitive but key talking-point in Derry.

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On the production of the film Nathan said: "I wanted to create a film that would shed light on the organisations fighting against the alarming suicide rates in Derry and NI as a whole.

Nathan Edgar at Royal Television society awardsNathan Edgar at Royal Television society awards
Nathan Edgar at Royal Television society awards

"Foyle Search & Rescue was perfect for this; the work they do is absolutely amazing. The process initially started by reaching out to FS&R and setting up a meeting.

"It wasn’t long after that we started filming/documenting everyday at the base. I think the hardest part was cutting everything down to 18 minutes.”

Mental health is often a talking point in the North and especially Derry. Nathan says: “The topic of suicide is something that has affected me personally, and I believe it has affected mostly everyone in the city, in some shape or form. This was my driving force for the film.”

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During filming an incident occurred. Nathan said: “It was just a moment of pure shock; there we were, filming and talking about suicide, and just across the water from where we were filming, an incident occurred.

"There were a few incidents similar to this during the was in these moments that it really hit home, the severity of the topic.”

Being happy with your work can be a difficult thing to achieve but Nathan’s film is something someone should be proud of.

"I’m absolutely buzzing with how the film turned out and how well it’s been received. I think it’s normal to look back and spot changes, etcetera but this film, in particular, is a piece of work that I’ll forever be proud of."

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‘On The Edge’ will be available on Derry Hub Productions on April 5.

*Community Crisis Intervention Service - 028 7126 2300. Lifeline - 0808 808 8000; Samaritans - 02871 265511 or 116 123; Childline - 0800 1111 or; Pieta House - 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444; TEXT Crisis Textline Ireland - 50808; Samaritans - 116-123.

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