Critically acclaimed Lancashire filmmakers Aaron Dunleavy and Broden Salmon have collaborated with charity Active Lancashire on a new film examining the inspirational story of their colleague Paul Becouarn, who uses his lived experience to support others through his work.
The film highlights Paul's inspiring triumph over a history of addiction and prison convictions, to turn his life around and use his empathy and knowledge to support others with complex barriers to employment within his Active Lancashire role.
The new film, “I Want To Live” combines dramatized scenes with actors alongside an authentic narration from Paul and genuine footage to capture the essence of his journey.
The film aims to resonate with those facing adversity to showcase that, with the right support, anyone can transform their life. It was commissioned by Jane Moodie, the Manager of Active Lancashire’s Challenge Through Sport Initiative service and has been in development for over a year.
Aaron Dunleavy, said: "Working on this project has been a deeply moving experience. Paul's journey is a testament to resilience, and I believe this film has the power to inspire and bring about positive change. We're exploring opportunities in film festivals and competitions, recognizing the potential for mass awareness."
Paul Becouarn, who is Project Lead for Rossendale Works - an employment service run by Active Lancashire on behalf of Rossendale Council with funding from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund – said, "Sharing my story has not been easy, but it's a crucial step in reaching out to others and showing what is possible. My hope is that by opening up, I can offer support and encouragement to those facing similar challenges. The film captures not just my journey, but the collective spirit of overcoming adversity."
A private screening of the film and Q&A session captivated a small, select audience in Blackburn last November, with an additional event scheduled at the Grand in Clitheroe on 6th February for Active Lancashire's partner organizations. This will also feature a Q&A with Paul and the filmmakers.
Going forward, Active Lancashire intends to showcase the film in venues like schools and prisons. Additionally, the organization aims to create a complementary workbook, emphasizing the message that taking positive actions, no matter when, can pave the way for a better life.