Last Thursday evening premiered the remarkable work of our 2015 film and photography participants at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall. The film premiere and photography exhibition showcased our participants’ work which champions causes close to their hearts.
The event also marked three years of continued collaboration between See Change Films and Families Forward of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), and introduced a new partnership with the Youth Offending Team of RBKC.
Before the film premiere we were delighted to be visited by Councillor Robert Freeman, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea . He spent time talking with our film participants and their families as well as viewing our photography exhibition.
Jonty Perchard, the Lead Family Activities Coordinator at Families Forward, with whom we work in close partnership to deliver the courses, was our compere for the evening. He started off proceedings by inviting each of our graduate film directors to introduce their documentaries and describe the inspiration behind the subjects they had chosen - issues that all the other members of the group are passionate about. The four films premiered on the night were:
- Tiago, Lily and Abdul’s film: ‘Spreading the Word’ - this powerful documentary explores the perception of young people perpetuated by the media and the impact on young people’s live
- Salima’s film: Salima takes us on a journey to find three incredible female role models for her daughters
- Seb’s film: Seb allows us a peek into the high-energy world of skateboarding and reveals a community of people passionate about this sport
- Olivera’s film: ‘The Changing Westway’ explores the re-development of Ladbroke Grove and the community fighting to protect its identity and heritage.
We gained insight from our filmmakers about the process and what they had taken away from the experience during our lively Q&A.
“The best thing about making my film was being with my daughters. It was about creating some space and time that had nothing to do with school, home or our problems - it was literally about reconnecting and collaborating.
-Salima, 2015 Graduate
Helen Cotton, Director of See Change Films shared the philosophy behind our work: As a charity we provide people who don’t have a voice in mainstream media with the opportunity to learn new skills and to make films about issues that they care about so that they can become part of the dialogue for change.
“These films are a starting point for discussion – to introduce new ideas, challenge pre-conceptions and entertain”.
We were delighted that Clare Chamberlain, Director of Family Services at RBKC, was able to join us for the evening and present our new graduates with their certificates of achievement. She also spoke about the progress that she has seen in the three years RBKC has supported the film training initiative.
“This is the third year that I've been to a premiere and each time I'm overwhelmed with how fantastic the creativity and the work that goes into making such fabulous films, there was something for everyone tonight"
We want our training to leave a lasting legacy and our alumni programme enables us to stay connected to our graduates and for us to continue our support. One of our alumni members, Levi, made an inspirational speech about the changes that he’s seen in himself since he became involved with Families Forward and See Change Films’ training project in 2013.
“I first took part in the film-training project a few years ago with my mum, my cousins and my brother. Together we made a film called ‘Family Time’ about some of the difficulties we had as a family. The course gave me a chance to interview different people and interact with lots of new people, which helped me gain confidence… I felt I was changing from the shy Levi to the new, outgoing Levi you see in front of you today.”
-Levi, 2015 Film Mentor
Finally our compere, Jonty closed the evening of celebration by congratulating our graduates and describing what this unforgettable experience has meant to him.
“The word 'privileged' pinged into my head. I thought I really want to let these guys know how privileged I feel by the young people and the families allowing me and the allowing the guys that I'm with to be a part of their lives and be a part of some of these exciting journeys and their exciting achievements."
Showcasing our films – we want to hear from you!
We want to spread the films produced by our participants far and wide. Films like Olivera’s which highlights a community under-threat need to be seen by those who can make a difference. Tiago, Lily and Abdul want to change attitudes towards young people, which is why we want to share their film.
Please get in touch with us if you can spread the message. We would love to hear from councils, charities, youth clubs and other organisations that can help. For more information contact our project co-ordinator, Heini Huhtinen – email@example.com - or find us on Twitter and Facebook.
Photography by Christopher Gunson