Derry teen ‘Faces the Music’ in new BBC short

Katie pictured during filming with her mentor Aoife McKevitt from the BBC.
Katie pictured during filming with her mentor Aoife McKevitt from the BBC.

A Derry teenager who lost her mother to Cancer last year has made a moving short documentary with the help of the BBC - on how music helped her deal with her grief.

‘Face the Music,’ by Katie Duddy, is part of the ‘Truth North Shorts’ series, and will be screened on BBC N orthern Ireland on Monday night at 11.05 p.m.

The media and journalism student decided to make the short after the loss of her mother, Vivienne, in July 2014 - and pitched her idea to the BBC as part of their True North Shorts series - which would see film-makers partnered with BBC professionals to bring their vision to the screen.

“I wanted to deal with the issue of grief, and depression and overcoming depression in the hope of helping other people.

“Perhaps there is someone out there who is very down, who will see it and maybe it will strike a chord with them?”

Katie’s mother fought a three year battle with Cancer before her death.

After she passed away, Katie found herself struggling to come to terms with the loss - and it was music which helped her come to terms with those darkest of days.

“After my idea had been shortlisted, I had to go to the BBC to pitch my idea to a panel of commissioners. It was nerve-wrecking at first, but I had to keep reminding myself why I wanted to do this and what an amazing opportunity it would be.

“I have never really been in that situation before and as it is such a personal topic to me, I didn’t want to script what what I wanted to say so I brought alone with me my Bob Dylan record and a box of antidepressants and laid them on a table alongside each other in the hope that the comparison would evoke emotion in the commissioners.”

Aoife McKevitt, from the BBC, was assigned to Katie’s film to mentor her through the production process.

“Katie’s film was so interesting because it is such a personal story and I wanted to help her make her idea a reality.

“Katie also was the film - so it was a case of making sure she was comfortable and helping get such a complex and powerful message across in a simple and condensed manner.”

The True North Shorts initiative - developed through a partnership between BBC NI’s Digital & Learning and Commissioning teams - set out to find new talent to produce fresh, inspiring and engaging stories about life in Northern Ireland, told from a different perspective

The project was launched during the 2014 Belfast Media Festival and called for young programme makers to submit a synopsis for a short film which would complement BBC Northern Ireland’s True North programmes; a series of contemporary, revelatory and uniquely personal single documentaries broadcast on BBC One Northern Ireland.