THE VIDEO COLLEGE
A collaboration with The Video College based in West London between 2002-2006 led to over 20 films produced with young people at risk, teenage mums, minority groups and migrants.
The Video college provides free, high-quality, production-based video training with a strong drama element. The purpose is to help give voice and expression to the challenges experienced by the participants and empower them and their communities. Numerous projects were carried out over this period.
Many of the programs offer progression routes so that young people and adults can develop both video skills and the core skills that they need to get on at school or to move into work, further education or training
Community Speak was established by film director and producer team Nick Francis and Marc Francis after they established Speakit Films. Communityspeak believes that at the core of many social problems lies a communication divide. This prevents understanding and contributes to prejudice, stereotypes and divisions.The process of actively engaging in the deconstruction of negative representations and stereotypes and facilitating constructive communication, through workshops, mediation and participatory use of media, is a powerful force for social development, community transformation and conflict resolution.
The collaboration involved working on a project called “Kirklees Our Lives” with women from two communities in conflict in the North of England – Bradford. An area with a large white and Muslim community, suffering on going racism. The project involved a process of working with each group separately to produce photographs about their lives, the making of a film and then a couple of sessions where they saw each other’s work and shared impressions. They met for the first time at the end of the process. The final stage was the exhibition of their work in a gallery, with both their communities invited to attend.
Collaborating with HI8US was extremely rewarding and challenging. It involved working with young offenders from the Bangladeshi community of East London.
We made a drama film with them which they took part in writing, producing and acting in. There were days when they were missing on set and we later found out they stole a car and went on a joy ride. But most of the time they showed incredible professionalism and a desire to rise above their current situation and status. They were incredibly proud to see the finished film screened in front of their entire community. Most of them had little expectations of themselves, as all their life they were made to feel useless. This was the first time they were treated with respect.