Film School in a Box

The Film School in a Box workshop experience

The Independent Film Trust and the Raindance organisation developed the Film School in a Box in order to support those marginalised from society – whether due to lack of economic advantages, homelessness, imprisonment, asylum-seeker status or disability – to communicate their unique and important stories through the process of film-making. Using hands-on workshops and discussion-based classes, the Film School in a Box is mobile and versatile, encouraging participants from all walks of life to realise that their voices are relevant and necessary to the development of the world around them.The Independent Film Trust and the Raindance organisation developed the Film School in a Box in order to support those marginalised from society – whether due to lack of economic advantages, homelessness, imprisonment, asylum-seeker status or disability – to communicate their unique and important stories through the process of film-making. Using hands-on workshops and discussion-based classes, the Film School in a Box is mobile and versatile, encouraging participants from all walks of life to realise that their voices are relevant and necessary to the development of the world around them.

Pandora’s Box

In 2016, the IFT teamed up with the Documentary Film-maker’s Coop to produce a series of workshops for young women in South London. During this exciting storytelling and film-making workshop, girls and young women aged 11-17 filmed their own short films about women’s roles in society and things they feel passionate about in their own lives. The project was delivered by the Documentary Film Makers Cooperative in partnership with the Self Empowerment for Life Foundation (SELF) and the Independent Film Trust with funding gratefully received from the National Lottery Awards for All.

The films were screened at the Ritzy Cinema to a packed audience of friends, family and local residents.

New Horizons Youth Centre

In 2014, the IFT taught a three-day workshop at the New Horizons Youth Centre in Camden, London. New Horizons is a vital support network for 16-21 year olds who have no one else to turn to. They provide everything from hot food, showers and laundry to finding them accommodation, training and employment. They offer counselling, drug and alcohol support, health, fitness, art, music and communication skills workshops – everything they need to create a positive future.

The film produced by the young people at New Horizons as screened to a public audience at the Vue Cinema in Piccadilly in Central London.

The Link with Kindu

In February 2014, the IFT was awarded a £6,000 grant under the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All scheme for a new film-making course in partnership with The Link primary school in Croydon, which works with children with communication and learning difficulties. A group of eight children, all aged 10 or 11, produced a short film for their friends in Kindu, a small village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The completed films were shown at the Apollo Piccadilly on Friday 23rd March to an audience of friends, family members and other guests.

Chelsea Community Hospital School

In February 2013 the IFT ran a course with Chelsea Community Hospital School (CCHS), which is housed in the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in West London and also works at three other hospital sites in London. The school serves long-term patients at the hospital, as well as pupils who have been withdrawn from neighbouring schools because of various individual problems, such as bullying. It aims to ensure that children and young people have their rights to education preserved whilst in hospital (www.cchs.org.uk). Ben Lewis, careers coordinator at CCHS, praised the performance of the “inspirational” IFT tutors on the course, which involved pupils with a range of ages. “I really cannot thank you enough for your patience and flexibility,” he said. “To produce a short film with a complex storyline with so many barriers as you did in only two days is incredible!”

Pursuing Independent Paths

At the start of February 2012 the IFT completed the shooting stage of a film-making course that it has been running with Pursuing Independent Paths, the UK charity which works to extend training to disadvantaged people who would not ordinarily get access to film-making equipment. The six course participants, aged 18 to 30, produced five separate films, each about three minutes long, all made on a collective basis. The completed films were shown at the Apollo Piccadilly on 23 March 2012 to an audience of friends, family members and other guests.

The Hampton Project

One of the IFT’s 2011 film-making ventures saw it team up with The Hampton Project, an educational charity based in South London, which works with young people who have been mainstream education and who have committed a criminal offence or are felt to be at risk of doing so. Course participants produced two short films, one of which you can see here, which were screened to an invited audience at the Apollo Piccadilly on 8 July 2011. The project received support from the Coutts Charitable Trust and the Music Sales Charitable Trust.

It was one of the most well organised and most productive projects that we have been involved with.” said Hampton project manager Tom Muir. “The Film School in a Box delivers what it promises to do. We have worked with many outside agencies but FSIB stands out because of the professionalism of its tutors and organisers. The young people really enjoyed the experience.”