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Press Releases / Stunning New Film Series Offers Young People Fresh Perspective on Faith


Nua launchAn exciting new film series designed to engage young people in the exploration of their faith was launched this week. NUA Film Series encourages questions, acknowledges doubt and offers a new perspective on Christian faith. It provides young people, and viewers of all ages, with the opportunity to discuss their worldview and wrestle with the things that don’t seem to make sense.

NUA was commissioned by Scripture Union Ireland and was launched in Gonzaga College on Wednesday evening (March 14). Produced and presented by Jonny Somerville, directed by Greg Fromholz and filmed by Tiny Ark, the result is an outstanding resource with stunning visuals and really engaging content.

Over the series of eight short films, NUA addresses many of the big questions including ‘Jesus: Fact or Fiction?’, ‘How Can You Say That God is Good?’ and ‘Has the Church Caused More Harm Than Good?’ The first episode, ‘How Did We Get Here?’ was shown at the launch and while NUA doesn’t presume to give the answers, it provides a broad base for discussion and gives voice to the many questions people have when considering creation and events like the Big Bang.

Each film lasts about 15 minutes and is intended to be watched over time in an educational setting, youth group, college campus or with friends. NUA was written, reviewed and edited by more than 30 trusted critics including a small inter church theological group, chaplains and RE teachers, clergy, youth workers, parents and actual young people.

Introducing NUA, Jonny Somerville said it was not one man’s theology. He, Greg Fromholz (who apart from directing films is also Dublin & Glendalough’s Young Adults Officer) and Scott Evans (Church of Ireland Chaplain at UCD) wrote the original scripts. These were then sent to the ecumenical panel where they were “ripped to shreds and put back together again”. “I believe NUA is acceptable to all denominations,” he said.

Nua launchA panel of reviewers gave their opinions on the applications of NUA on the night. Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, Bishop Eamonn Walsh, suggested that in a parish context it could be used for confirmation groups and youth groups as well as Advent and Lent discussion groups. “NUA says it’s OK to be a Christian and be full of thoughts. This gets across that God’s spirit is in everyone,” he commented.

Anna Maloney, Post Primary Advisor with the Dublin Archdiocese, said she was delighted that they could now offer a resource to schools. As a teacher herself, she said: “It was clear how you would go about teaching it in a classroom setting. We’re looking for something that isn’t naff and will engage young people… This is so new and fresh. Students will buy into it,” she said.

Ken Rue of Dublin & Glendalough’s Council for Mission and Associate Vicar of Wicklow and Killiskey Parishes, said that from a Church of Ireland context NUA would be great for youth clubs but said adults would be equally engaged. He praised the quality and said he particularly liked the built in pauses for discussion.

Peter Rigney of Alpha Ireland said there were lots of similarities between Alpha Youth and NUA and the film series would be a great way to follow up on an Alpha course. He said Jonny had worked with Alpha Youth in schools and began to understand the needs of young people in an Irish context.

Greg Fromholz paid tribute to the almost 200 people who collaborated in making the series. “NUA is not just one person talking. It is constantly changing and engaging. It takes us on a journey. We went to different locations to shoot NUA – Israel and Palestine to walk in the steps of Jesus, New York because it is a special place and we showed off our own country. But it is a journey,” he commented.

General Director of Scripture Union, Jim Donnan, thanked everyone who had contributed financially to the making of NUA and all who were involved in making the series a reality. “NUA allows young people to be open, to express their questions about faith. We want to direct them towards the one who gives the answers to all their questions. It is an excellent resource which is tailor made for RE teachers, chaplains, leaders and for anyone who wants to engage young people in faith. Take this resource and use it with young people. Give young people the chance to encounter Jesus,” he said.

The NUA resources comprise a USB – with eight episodes, nine training videos, the series trailer, eight Irish street interviews and a media pack; the NUA Guide which includes lesson plans, summaries and suggestions for engagement activities; and the NUA Journal for viewers to write notes and record their faith journey. They can all be ordered on the NUA website: www.nuafilmseries.ie

Photo captions:

Top: Jonny Somerville and Greg Fromholz chat at the Nua launch.

Bottom: Bishop Eamonn Walsh, Anna Maloney, the Revd Ken Rue and Peter Rigney at the launch of the NUA Film Series in Gonzaga College.

Category: Press Releases
Posted: Thursday 16th March 2017
Added By: Lynn Glanville

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