School children go behind the camera to capture lives of Londoners

Merton school children went behind the camera to capture the lives of Londoners as part of a capital-wide project which had its premiere on Monday.

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Sixth formers from Rutlish School, Ricards Lodge High School, Ursuline High School, Wimbledon College, Graveney, Southfields Academy, St Mark’s Academy and Raynes Park High School participated in the project, which is part of Wimbledon BookFest’s education programme. The project was funded by the Wimbledon Foundation – the charitable part of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

The budding young film-makers worked with professionals from Chocolate Films to produce ten films focusing on people who live in Merton and Wandsworth to create a digital portrait of London.

Among those to feature in the Take 10 Films were Arnold Oceng, an actor and teaching assistant at Graveney School, Ivor Heller, commercial director at AFC Wimbledon and Jenna Fontanilla, pictured above, a young tennis player with the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative.

The ten films were shown for the first time at the Wimbledon Odeon Cinema on Monday 26 September.

Council cabinet member for education, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah said: “I am delighted so many of our young people have been involved in this exciting project and have had the chance to be so creative and learn new skills which will be useful for the future.”

Wimbledon BookFest’s director Fiona Razvi said: “BookFest’s education programme is developing now.  As well as bringing authors and writers to schools, we are developing young people’s skills for employability within the creative industries.”

Ulrika Hogberg, foundation and community manager said: “The Wimbledon Foundation is supporting the Take 10 project with Wimbledon BookFest because we want to help local young people gain new skills and experience which will benefit them in later life. It was incredible to watch the final ten films at the premiere on Monday night and to see the talent of the students involved and to hear from teachers about the impact Take 10 has had on their students. The films tell some remarkable stories and are a fascinating insight into Merton’s diverse community.”

The tenth annual Wimbledon BookFest takes places from today until 9 October at the Big Tent on Wimbledon Common and is headlined by former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, multi-award winning novelist Kate Atkinson, author Rose Tremain, adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, broadcasters Jeremy Paxman and Jenni Murray, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and ‘Outnumbered’ creator and debut novelist Andy Hamilton. Events for schools include: David Baddiel, Michelle Paver, Santa Montefiore and Caroline Lawrence.  See www.wimbledonbookfest.org for more information.

The ten films can be seen at the following venues and times:

  • At the Wimbledon BookFest, Big Tent, Wimbledon Common between today and 9 October.
  • At the Wingfield Café, All England Lawn Tennis Club from 17 October to 13 November. Free entry.
  • Released on 1000.Londoners.com