'Our Peckham' - the first ever Into Film Awards double-winner

09 Jul 2019

5 mins
'Our Peckham' - the first ever Into Film Awards double-winner

Easily one of the most talented and deserving winners to emerge from the 2019 Into Film Awards was Bell Gardens Animation Club (supported by Rainbow Collective) in Peckham, becoming the first ever double-winners - in the Best Animation and newly created Audience Choice Award categories - for their film Our Peckham: Foodbank and the Fidget Spinner.

Below, club member Elise delves into the filmmaking process, their decision to focus on such an important and timely issue and the impact of winning an Into Film Award.

Winners of Best Animation and the Audience Choice Award
Bell Gardens Animation Club accepting their award for Best Animation at the 2019 Into Film Awards

From the beginning, one of the club's main priorities and motivations was creating a film around an issue that was close to their hearts. Elise explained that "we were inspired to make this film because some of us have been bullied for using food banks. People shouldn't have to feel scared to use a food bank just because they are poor and can't afford to buy things."

Elise also elaborated on the filming process saying that 'this was the first time I made a film. It took about nine months. We made the characters using clay, mixing clay together to get different skin tones, and we made the background using cardboard and acrylic. We used an iPhone and an app called the stop motion studio where you take a picture and move the characters very slightly until you have a smooth scene where the characters are moving. It takes half an hour to make one five to ten second scene."

Not only has their film raised awareness of people living on the poverty line in London and helped to change attitudes toward the use of food banks, but being part of a film club and filmmaking, along with attending the ceremony has enhanced many of the young people's self-development and confidence. 

"Before I made the film I found it hard to work with other people. This has taught me to trust and work with other people without feeling self-conscious. It made me think I could help other children who use food banks."

"Winning the award for Best Animation felt amazing and scary at the same time as I normally feel nervous around people I don't know. I always dreamed of meeting celebrities and at the Into Film Awards it came true. Then Bell Gardens Animation Club made history by winning a second award, the Audience Choice Award. I felt really happy I'd achieved something so big and so rare."

Winning these two awards has been a huge boost to the young filmmakers and to the whole community. At a young age these children have become ambassadors for social justice through their animations. They see people using food banks and being bullied for it. The Into Film Awards enabled them to highlight these issues and be heard. They've seen that what they create can make an impact nationally.

Hannan Majid, Director, The Rainbow Collective

The club will continue to use the medium of film to highlight and advocate social issues in their community, bringing these topics to the surface not only amongst their peers but both adults and young people in Peckham and beyond that have similar issues. "I would love to use what I've learned to make more films in future. We're working on two films at the moment one about bullying because lots of children in our local area are being bullied and are scared to go to the park, and another one about knife crime because there are loads of knife crimes and we want to try and stop them."

The collective continue to make their mark in tackling issues of social justice through film and were just yesterday (9 July) featured on the BBC where they discussed their plans to tackle holiday poverty and the details of their next project.

The Into Film Awards takes place every March and submissions for the 2020 Awards are open until 6 December. If you or your film club have a short live action, animation or documentary film or are thinking about making one over the summer, we'd love to see it entered into next year's Awards. Just by submitting your film, you and your school could win £1000 of filmmaking equipment. For full category details and entry criteria visit the Into Film Awards page.

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