The forty filmmakers, aged between 13 and 73, are members of FILM LAB, a local film training workshop, attended by residents of the Wyndham Comber estate in Camberwell, South London, and pupils from the nearby St Michael’s and All Angels Church of England Academy (formerly Archbishop Michael Ramsey).
During the 12-week program, participants studied script-writing, interviewing techniques, filming and post-production, and explored community based issues such as immigration, anti-social behaviour, racism, crime, drug addiction and alcoholism – the themes on which their films are based.
The FILM LAB program is the brainchild of Antonio Ribeiro, founder of Storymakers TV, a South London based Production Company, which produces quality fiction and documentaries and provides vocational training courses to schools in and around London. Since June 2007, Storymakers TV has been working to improve community relations in Southwark through creativity and filmmaking.
In December 2007, FILM LAB received the “Let’s Do It” award, which recognises community/education-led projects in the borough of Southwark.
The project – funded by Southwark Council’s Joint Security Initiative (JSI), – was created in response to the stigma and fear of crime both in the school and surrounding communities. It was also used as a vehicle to help develop and rebuild fractured relations between pupils from St. Michael’s All Angels Academy and the local community, and to help divert young people from anti-social behaviour and the burgeoning influence of gang culture in Southwark.
Michelle Ferguson, Director of Communications from St Michael’s All Angels Academy said: “I am feeling really positive about our project. I truly believe we have just had a hint of what the students have to offer”.
FILM LAB British Film Institute Screenings
“ASBO Bus” by Javier Otero. (Seven mins).
A film that explores what happens when a group of young people playing a tune on their mobile phones in a crowded bus, but have no control over the altercation that ensues amongst the adult passengers.
“Subway” by David Nobakht (Five mins).
Short story which illustrates the need to shift perceptions that all young people are ‘up to no good’, by offering a different perspective on a young black man walking through Elephant and Castle’s notorious underpass.
“Smoke House” by Michael Okofi, Ann Heyes and Olayemi Ojetunde (Six mins).
Story about the high price a man has to pay because of his alcoholism, after his wife dies when their house catches fire.
“The Game” by a collective of young residents from the Wyndham Comber estate.
(10 mins) Three brothers and their sister who live on a local council estate is on the brink of poverty. When their mother buys them a football after winning £10 on a scratch card, they’re lives will never be the same again…
Other stories devised by St Michael’s pupils include: “Two Guys and a Girl”, “Inside Out”, “Rumours”, “What goes Around Comes Around” and “The Mystery Suitcase” (combined duration: 25 mins).