BFI funded TV series exploring spirituality in the UK launches on KMTV

Katherine Moss

The University is pleased to announce that Generation Why, a six-part TV documentary series designed for school-age students, launches on Tuesday 31 October.

The latest series in the “Generation” family will look at religion, faith and spirituality around the UK. The presenting team will meet young people from all walks of life to answer questions about who we are and how society has been changed by different beliefs.

Dr Chris Deacy, Reader in Theology and Religious Studies at Kent will present the series. He says: ‘Generation Why has been an amazing, eye-opening experience which has the capacity to change the way we understand religion. The series has highlighted how questions of faith and spirituality are being understood and practised by young people themselves and it has made me rethink and revisit so much of what I teach and research, with implications for reshaping school curriculum activity. There is so much scope for bringing together young people and the HE sector.’

Juliette Pattinson, Director of the Division of Arts and Humanities, says: ‘This is a really exciting project for the University and Arts and Humanities. Generation Why encapsulates the very essence of Arts and Humanities – powered by curiosity and an interest in other cultures, histories, people and beliefs, students develop a critical and interpretive mindset towards vital matters that continue to resound today. The project demonstrates how the skills from these disciplines are essential to ensuring an understanding and respectful society as well as underlining our commitment to widening participation and engaging young people from all walks of life.

The series, which features school children from across the country, is part-funded by the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) and being made in conjunction with local TV company KMTV, which will air the episodes.

Jackie Edwards, Head of Fund at the YACF, said: ‘Critical thinking is one of the most important life skills you can give to children. Examining the rights and wrongs of something. That’s why Generation Why, as a sister series to Generation Genome, carrying forward the way they approach production is just going to be brilliant. I can’t wait to see it!’

Andy Richards, Channel Director, KMTV, said: ‘Being recommissioned to produce Generation Why is a ringing endorsement from the BFI. It demonstrates a seal of approval for our work on Generation Genome and underlines our commitment to creating high-quality, educational content for young audiences. Our cast and crew have had the exciting opportunity to delve into younger people’s beliefs and perspectives across all corners of the UK. It’s given a platform to young people from routinely underserved and underrepresented communities, allowing them a chance to have a voice in their education. Our teenage presenters, Sadgun and Alex, are clear examples of this ethos and it’s been rewarding to see how much the experience has positively affected them.’

The first episode will air on KMTV at 18:30 on Tuesday 31 October. The remaining episodes will be shown on Mondays – 6, 13, 20 and 27 November and 4 December.  You can watch KMTV on Freeview on Channel 7, and Virgin Media Channel 159 across Maidstone, Medway, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and surrounding areas on online.