A SHORT film made by a group of young people which looks at the journey a Ukrainian refugee faces on arrival in Scotland has had its premiere.

Different Ways was shown for the first time at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine, accompanied by a short documentary on the project’s impact and how the film was made. It was created last year by young people living in North Ayrshire, from a range of backgrounds and nationalities.

Ukrainian refugee Stepan, played by Oleksandr Chmut, must travel to an educational course by bus. He struggles with social confidence and is intimidated by a group of girls as his journey starts out.

Lana Shvorak plays one of the girls, Ellie. She and Chmut both wrote their own characters, inspired by true events and experiences.

Director Max McGregor said: “The project involved people in writing, all the way through to editing. It was very important this was a collaborative process and that everyone’s ideas would shine through in our work.”

Additional cast members included Maddie McGregor, Nell McGregor, Rana Tatar and Bafta award-winning actor, Daniel Kerr, who also worked as an acting coach.

Most of those involved had never worked on a film before. Spending a year on the project, the group went from being mostly strangers to being strong friends, with everyone wanting to work on a future project together.

Behind the camera, a number of young people worked in production roles from writing, to recording and editing. These included Archie Nelson, Anton Mukovoz, Sofia Medvedchuk, Rawan Idlebi, Joseph McIntosh, Mariana Al Shrayteh, Mariam Bandakji, Shiraz Al Dieri, Artem Mosiichuk and Layla Russell.

The group was set up by Lucy Russell, a locality link worker for New Scots in North Ayrshire.

A Q&A with McGregor, Chmut and Shvorak followed the premiere, which Carol Wark reviewed. She said: “It was a truly inspiring offering, displaying the multifaceted talents of both local young people and of amazingly articulate Ukrainian youths.

“The filming was brilliant, capturing just how easy it is for us to form misconceptions about other people, particularly when they are ‘different’, and we were treated to beautiful scenes of the west coast of Scotland.”

Since the film’s release, there has been great interest in using it as a topical educational resource across schools in Ayrshire and further afield. The team also plans to enter it into festivals, and hold more public screenings to reach a wider audience.

The project was run under Vertex Visions, with collaboration from North Ayrshire Council and funded by The Ayrshire Communities Trust. Vertex Visions is a volunteer-run organisation based in West Kilbride which aims promotes culture and the arts in the local community.

The film can be watched at youtu.be/VWmcIjTnC0Y along with the documentary.