SIX FILMS created by young Londoners based on their experiences of serious youth violence premiered at a special screening at Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel on Sunday (November 24).
City Hall and Digital Cinema Media (DCM) created the ‘LDN Filmmakers Project’ to enable 40 young Londoners aged 15-22 – some of whom have been directly affected by violence – to make their own short films focusing on what growing up in the capital means today.
During the week-long course, young Londoners were able to learn from industry experts about all aspects of film production, from script writing and acting, to using camera equipment and film editing, equipping them with the skills needed to pursue creative careers. The films capture young people’s views of life in the capital, tell their stories about violence and challenge negative stereotypes.
Six of the films were shown for the first time at a screening of the movie Blue Story, created by Rapman – a rapper, producer, writer and film director from Deptford.
Rapman has gained a huge following through his three-part YouTube drama, Shiro’s Story, which achieved 7.2 million views. His new movie ‘Blue Story’ tells the story of best friends from neighbouring London Boroughs who wind up on rival sides of a never-ending cycle of postcode gang war in which there are no winners … only victims.
Sunday’s event was attended by 500 young people and their families, as well as figures from the film industry.
Londoners will be able to see trailers of the films when they appear as ads in cinemas across the capital from December to February, as a result of the partnership with DCM.
As part of the project, GRM Daily, the most visited urban music website in the UK, has been sharing behind the scenes updates from the project, showcasing the skills the young people were learning and the inspiration behind their film stories on issues such as knife crime, relationships, careers and growing up in London.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This fantastic initiative highlights the remarkable creativity and talent of our young people and has given these Londoners the chance to tell their stories about life in the capital. It’s vital to provide opportunities for young people to choose the right path, develop skills and reach their potential.
“I congratulate everyone who took part for the powerful and thought-provoking work they have created and I’m delighted Londoners will be able to see the films in cinemas across the capital.”