This week we talk to Tiago and Abdul, both recent graduates from our film-training project in partnership with the Youth Offending Team of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Over the course of last 3 months Tiago and Abdul came together with other young people to learn technical filmmaking skills and to produce a short documentary on their chosen topic.
In this group, the decision making process for the final film was an exceptionally unanimous. As soon as in the first few sessions it became clear that the participants wanted to make a film about the prejudice young people face - something they all felt strongly affected their everyday life.
Read our Q&A with Tiago and Abdul to find out more about their filmmaking experience, and how they want to change people’s perceptions on young people.
What were your expectations of this film-training course?
Tiago: I had no previous experience on filmmaking or photography, so didn’t really know what to expect.
Abdul: Beforehand I wasn’t that sure I wanted to get involved with the project. But then I found myself being really excited about the different things we were learning, and decided that I actually wanted to make an effort to complete the course.
What do you think you will take away from this experience?
T: It was really good to work together with other people in my group, get to know everyone better and get help from them. I also enjoyed learning technical filming skills; if needed, I now know how to use camera and get a good shot.
A: Coming up with different ideas for the film and interviews was a lot of fun - this experience has taught me to think outside the box. I also really enjoyed interviewing different people for our film, and the challenge of trying to draw them in with your questions. I will definitely use these skills later on; they are essential life skills!
How did you choose the topic for your film?
T: This topic came up almost as soon as we got together as a group. Discrimination and prejudice is something everyone in the group had experienced, so we wanted to tell people about it. A lot of the prejudice I’ve faced is to do with being young, my skin colour and the way I dress - it’s present in my everyday life.
Abdul: Discrimination happens everywhere, and it’s hard to stop. For example, if I go to a town or area that is very white, I feel some people take at least three looks at me - it doesn’t feel great.
What was the best thing in producing your own film?
T: As part of the film, we decided to create a rap about prejudice. Many young people listen to rap, so we thought it might be a good way to get our message across. We came up with the lyrics together, and a MC called Emmanuelle helped us to put the rap together. I think my favorite part of the process was rapping on camera - although it was freezing when we filmed that!
A: We interviewed a wide variety of people to get lots of different stories, but I think my favorite person to talk to was the Director of Intermission Theatre, who helps young people to communicate better across the board. He was so well-prepared and knew exactly what he wanted to say - it made me think that being a good communicator can take you a long way.
Who would you like to show this film to and why?
T: I think the first group I’d like to show this film to is the police. Everyone’s prejudiced to some extent, but the police are in a position where they should know better.
A: People working for the government and the media should watch our film. Media has so much power influencing people’s views - and I feel the way young people and especially black kids are portrayed in the media is just too negative.
What do you want this film to achieve?
T&A: We want to change the way people see young people. Our message is; don’t judge people just based on how they look - wearing a hood doesn’t make anyone a criminal. It’s important that people who don’t have to face this kind of discrimination in their daily lives also think about it.