Our aim was to help individuals who were already on a path of negativity and also those who may have experienced first hand, the effects of violence or segregation within our community as a result of their past or present lifestyle. After the 2011 riots, we launched a carefully orchestrated research programme speaking to over 1000 young people throughout various London Boroughs. Boredom and lack of opportunity were high on the list of issues highlighted. Another clear message from the research was that music and film are fundamental elements in their lifestyle and they are interested in and respond well to this media. Fredi Nwaka has spent over 20 years in the entertainment industry (music and film) and having grown up in and around inner city gang culture, this project allowed him and his team to connect with those involved and to gain their trust and attention.
After all….. as he will tell you , “I was one of them”.
To date he has buried numerous friends/associates as a result of violent crime and as he tells those he speaks to…. “NO ONE CAN TELL ME I’M NOT CREDIBLE TO BE TALKING ABOUT THIS! I’ve lived it, breathed it and have been a product of it and the things I am doing now show testimony that you can LEAVE IT!”
The project was open to both male and females aged between 13 and 28 and catered for 30 young people. They learnt various film making skills such as casting, camera techniques, make up, story boarding, creative writing and people skills, group participation, personal expression and self discipline. They worked in groups and on individual tasks helping to mould and bring the overall project together. The course consisted of 8 sessions, each lasting approx 2-3 hours long. The sessions were film related as well as discussion and free expression sessions. Each session involved professionals from their respective fields mentoring the young people including professional actors, directors, make up artists, casting agents, poets and script writers.