Somerleyton makes its own film

Written by on April 18, 2016 in Brixton People, Community, Culture, Film, News - Comments Off on Somerleyton makes its own film
Raekwon Warren (left) as Jazz and Remael Walker as Jonathan in Ringing

Raekwon Warren (left) as Jazz and Remael Walker as Jonathan in Ringing

Ringing is a 20-minute film set in Brixton’s Somerleyton estate, written, filmed, acted and with an original soundtrack by young people who live there.

Producer Dennis Gyamfi, also a Somerleyton resident, says it documents daily life on the estate through the eyes of young people living in an area the government classifies as “one of the 10 per cent most deprived areas in the country” and scoring “red”, the most serious classification, on the Metropolitan police gangs matrix.

Ringing title sequence

Out now on YouTube, it is a disturbing, thought-provoking, amusing and moving production with some great performances; black and white cinematography that makes you see Somerleyton in a new way; and stunning drone sequences of the estate and neighbouring areas that, like so many things on the estate, attracted the attention of the authorities.

The production was backed by the Positive View charity set up to support the most disadvantaged young people who may have low self-esteem, no qualifications and lack the experience or necessary skills to enable them to sustain employment.

Positive View ambassador Mark Gostick, an independent film maker, directed the film, working very closely with Dennis Gyamfi and the young people who participated.

“Many have been bullied or have experienced negative attitudes at schools that do not allow for their disadvantaged background,” says the charity. “As a result, these young people rebel or lose confidence and a lack of purpose in life.”

Many of them are trapped in a destructive circle of unemployment, mental health problems, and drug or alcohol addiction – which prevent them from building a positive future for their lives.

At the launch (l to r) Remiq Nelson, Andrew Page, Dennis Gyamfi and Jason Allen

At the launch (l to r) Remiq Nelson, Andrew Page, Dennis Gyamfi and Jason Allen

Director Dennis Gyamfi, centre, with Ringing actors Rose Kerr and Remael Walker

Director Dennis Gyamfi, centre, with Ringing actors Rose Kerr and Remael Walker

Dennis Gyamfi is a Positive View ambassador. He and Positive View founder and CEO Andrew Page, who was at the official launch of the film at the Southwyck House community centre on the estate at the weekend, see Ringing as just the beginning of what Somerleyton’s young people could create.

Dennis envisages a YouTube serial set in Somerleyton – like Eastenders, but “better and more real” – as well as classic dramas like Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet set there.

You can see more about the project at endz2endz.

Dennis Gyamfi is CEO of Endz2Endz, a charity that he started. Its main focus is empowering young people through creative media. Positive View supported and funded Endz2Endz to make the production possible.

More information at www.positiveview.org.uk or email: andrew@positiveview.org.uk.

Ringing project participants at the launch on the Somerleyton estate

Ringing project participants at the launch on the Somerleyton estate

showing-southwyck

Ringing story by: Nathan Joel Braithwaite, Kamal Peter Gordon, Douglas Gracia, Rachyon Biggz McPherson, Jerome Mark Miller, Samuel-shaquille Morgan, Daniel Munzemba, Adonis Nugent, Prince Ogunsanya, Shammah Rose, Remael Walker, Reakwon Warren and Dennis Gyamfi.

About the Author

Alan Slingsby moved to Brixton just as the 1981 uprising began. His nearest pub was the Effra and nearest off licence the Frontline — long gone in an earlier wave of closures of treasured community establishments. He works out of an office in St Matthews and before that the Bon Marché. Has edited newspapers for the National Union of Students and National Union of Teachers. Now makes a living designing magazines and books and anything else people will pay him for.

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