Environmental Filmmakers

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    We are excited to share short film’s produced by young people on the theme Green Planet.

    The brief was that the short films should have a national or international outlook putting the environment and environmental causes front and centre. We received a number of applications including mini documentaries, animation, short drama, experimental or infographic style films.

    The full press release is available at the bottom of this page

    Home into Sea (Short film)

    A spoken word poem written by Iona McTaggart and visualised by Eastside students. The poem represents loss creating a home-alike feeling for our planet in an attempt to raise awareness for the rising  water levels of the oceans.

    Poem by Iona McTaggart

    Produced and Edited by Lynne Qian

    Co-Directed by Venetia Latifah Dickson, Shubaneami Harichandra & Lynne Qian

    Acting by Shubaneami Harichandra

    Handwriting by Louisa Mayman


    A Plant’s Life (Short film)

    A Plant’s Life is a short story set in a world where everyone is given a plant to protect and nurture. A young mother (Eleanor Chilton-Sutton) attempts to look after her plant in the hostile environment of a big city. If each of us were given our own plant to look after, how successful would we be? And how much more conscious would we be of the environment around us?

    Directed and Music by Jack Snell

    Cinematography: Ethan Ross

    Cast

    Parent: Eleanor Chilton-Sutton

    Bad Parent: Ellen Bishop

    Couple: Cleo Foster and Lola Wilson


    How to Own an Island (Short film)

    In 2018, a cow escaped her lethal destiny by swimming to an island. Based on this real-life event, How To Own An Island imagines the journey of one of the cow’s descendants, a young bovine called Lila. All her life, Lila has listened to the story of Mo, the cow who swam to the island, in awe. However, after following her elder’s instructions on how to get to the island, Lila is lost. Slowly, she starts to question whether the stories she was told will ever come true. She is searching for her place in life but becomes increasingly unsure of what is real or imagined. With the future in fog, Lila finds herself lost in a place that doesn’t seem to exist.

    Film by Clara Helbig

    Camera: Emily Eckerud


    Chocolate (Short documentary)

    This short film aims to explore the inequality at the heart of the cocoa supply chain. Using the medium of poetry alongside interviews with an environmental activist and a Fairtrade representative the film explores this theme. It tells the story of a highly unequal cocoa supply chain and centres itself on the impact of this inequality on the livelihoods of the farmers at the backbone of global cocoa supply. It also discusses how climate change is affecting these farmers and what needs to be done for them to eradicate these inequalities and assist them in the fight against climate change.

    Film by: Shanyce Morris & Eileen Gbagbo

    Poetry written and narrated by: Eileen Gbagbo

    Benjamin Asare: Fairtrade Senior, Project Officer, Ghana

    Francisca Rockey: Environmental Activist & Founder of Black Geographers, UK

    Footage: Fairtrade West Africa

    Music: Ketsa, Way to West


    This project is generously supported by Adobe

    PRESS RELEASE

    Young people create short films to highlight climate threats

    • Young people produce films putting environment and environmental causes front and centre
    • Films created as part of the Environmental Filmmakers Fund with Eastside Educational Trust, supported through Adobe’s Employee Community Fund 

    London, 16 November 2021: With COP26 having reached its conclusion in Glasgow, the impacts of climate change are very much at the forefront of our minds. Eastside Educational Trust, recently launched an innovative Environmental Filmmakers Project, offering young filmmakers with a passion for environmental causes the opportunity to convey their message in a unique way. 

    With the young generation due to inherit the effects of climate change, this project has empowered young filmmakers giving them professional support to share their message with the world, whilst learning practical filmmaking skills.

    Matt Lane, Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director said: “At Eastside we engage children and young people through direct participation in the arts, enabling them to work with professional artists and creative practitioners. Over the last year Eastside has delivered 700 individual creative sessions engaging over 15,000 young people. 

    Young people’s voices are critical in the fight against climate change, as recognised at COP26, where young climate activists have boldly stated what needed to be said with great eloquence and passion. It appears that although they have fought valiantly to be heard, their words are not yet having the desired effect. At Eastside we recognise that this is a serious problem. Our young generation must not be ignored – they deserve a better future. Just yesterday we learned that schools are closing in Delhi for a week, not due to Covid restrictions, but due to toxic air pollution. Do we need any further reminders that greater action and change are needed now?

    We will work hard at Eastside to continue to develop and support the voices of children and young people over the forthcoming critical years of this decade to ensure that their messages are amplified and ultimately listened to. We are proud to have worked with a passionate group of young filmmakers to ensure that they can share their own perspectives via the medium of film, and will continue to help our young people get their message across.”

    From a number of entries highlighting environmental issues important to the young entrants, four short film ideas were selected to take their idea from concept to reality.

    With a budget and industry mentor, specific to their cause, to support them, along with guidance and support from Eastside, they were given two and half months to make their film from scratch. The selected teams learnt about filmmaking including how to work with cameras and how to deliver their ideas effectively, whilst receiving training in sound, directing and editing.

    Additionally, earlier this year, COP26 and Beyond and Eastside joined forces to support young filmmakers to produce a video as part of the Environmental Filmmakers Programme. The resulting video from this partnership has been supported by COP26 and beyond is a powerful short film created to showcase how young people are using the law to fight climate change. 

    Nina Xyda, Eastside Projects Team Said: “Eastside has always been a place to nurture and celebrate young people’s creativity. The Environmental Filmmakers programme has given young aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to be mentored by industry professionals and gain valuable knowledge, as well as the creative freedom to produce a variety of short films to raise environmental awareness, employing different genres and styles of filmmaking. 

    The films highlight how each creator perceives the severity of climate change and what means can be utilised be able to make a change. Young people today are aware, they are active and they are voicing their concerns in many different ways. It is time to finally listen.”

    Films

    Anna Maguire, Filmmaker/Mentor said: “I am a great believer in the work that Eastside does – and this project is no exception. They both support young filmmakers as they take their first creative steps, and give them the freedom to explore their own voices – a heady combination. 

    Film is a powerful conduit for change in all its forms. With narrative, documentary and experimental projects all on show here, these filmmakers have combined their passion for the environment, their unique voice and perspective on our world, to make us think, act and hopefully, change in the face of global inaction.” 

    Home Into Sea (Short film): A spoken word poem written by Iona McTaggart and visualised by Eastside students. The poem represents loss and aims to create a home-like feeling for our planet in an attempt to raise awareness for the rising water levels of the oceans. 

    A Plant’s Life (Short film): A Plant’s Life is a short story set in a world where everyone is given a plant to protect and nurture. A young mother (Eleanor Chilton-Sutton) attempts to look after her plant in the hostile environment of a big city. If each of us were given our own plant to look after, how successful would we be? And how much more conscious would we be of the environment around us?

    Jack Snell, A Plant’s Life Filmamker said: Eastide’s Environmental Filmmakers program has given me the opportunity to go out and create a film with a budget and lots of creative freedom – I was allowed to experiment with my film and create something not entirely conventional. It didn’t matter how much previous experience I had, it was the ideas that I had which were important. Having the Eastside team around me to help develop the project was a huge help to refine the idea and receiving professional feedback was a great benefit. The theme of green planet is also very important to myself and other young people so it felt important to try and bring out the message in my film.

    I have learnt a lot about filmmaking and project development from this experience and I am extremely grateful that I was given this opportunity.”

    Chocolate (Documentary): This short film aims to explore the inequality at the heart of the cocoa supply chain. Using the medium of poetry alongside interviews with an environmental activist and a Fairtrade representative the film explores this theme. It tells the story of a highly unequal cocoa supply chain and centers itself on the impact of this inequality on the livelihoods of the farmers at the backbone of global cocoa supply. It also discusses how climate change is affecting these farmers and what needs to be done for them to eradicate these inequalities and assist them in the fight against climate change.

    Eileen Gbagbo and Shanyce Morris said: “For two individuals aspiring to learn more about making films, Eastside was the perfect place to start this journey. We felt supported the whole way through, and in the process were able to gain so much invaluable knowledge and experience in filmmaking. Working with Eastside staff and a mentor was a fantastic experience and we are incredibly grateful to Eastside for the opportunity!”

    How To Own An Island: In 2018, a cow escaped her lethal destiny by swimming to an island. Based on this real-life event, How To Own An Island imagines the journey of one of the cow’s descendants, a young bovine called Lila. All her life, Lila has listened to the story of Mo, the cow who swam to the island, in awe. However, after following her elder’s instructions on how to get to the island, Lila is lost. Slowly, she starts to question whether the stories she was told will ever come true. She is searching for her place in life but becomes increasingly unsure of what is real or imagined. With the future in fog, Lila finds herself lost in a place that doesn’t seem to exist.

    Earlier this year, Adobe selected Eastside as one of its chosen charities to support as part of its Employee Community Fund, an employee-driven grant-making programme

    Lee Edwards, Vice President and Managing Director for Adobe UK and Ireland said:“Eastside’s vision to help young people develop their creative thinking supports our mission at Adobe to enable Creativity for All, because we believe creativity is a uniquely human trait and it must be nurtured where we spend our most formative years – in schools and with educators.  Eastside’s community engagement initiatives and its Environmental Filmmakers Fund help to raise awareness of environmental issues that are impacting us all today, and also empowers the next generation to reach their full potential through creative and digital literacy skills.”

    View the above four films on the Eastidise website 

    Using the Law to Fix Climate Change 

    This powerful short video includes ground-breaking interviews with four young climate activists in the UK, Kenya, Nigeria and Australia. 

    Louisa Mayman, Lead Mentor, Using the Law to fix the climate film said: “It was an honour to be involved in this important and timely project. There has never been a better time to empower young people to communicate their message in the persuasive and informative language of filmmaking. The world deserves to hear their voice on this urgent issue.”

    Watch ‘Using the Law to Fix Climate Change’ 

    ENDS

    For further information please contact Eastside Press Office: andrew@eastside.org.uk or 07870671705.

    Or visit: www.eastside.org.uk / @eastsidelondon

    About Eastside

    Eastside’s goal is to be the UK’s foremost youth arts charity, providing creative opportunities to thousands of children and young people, including those in the most underserved communities.

    We aim to deliver a ‘million differences’ to young lives across London and the UK by the end of 2026 through engaging children and young people through direct participation in the arts, enabling them to work with professional artists and creative practitioners, both in and outside school.