Budapest - 10th July: Participants of the second edition of the Reel Challenge screened their films to a judging panel comprising Director Felipe Torres, Filmmaker Trai Anfield, Creative Director Alex Wilson, and myself. The Reel Challenge provides the opportunity for an adventurous filmmaking challenge, as well as a supportive community that enables filmmakers to create great work under extreme time and resource constraints.
In 10 days, the crews of varying sizes produced 18 films of up to 5 minutes in length on the theme of Freedom as they made their way from London to Budapest for the challenge's climactic awards presentation and celebration. All of the completed films showed an inspiring independent spirit rarely unleashed on mainstream screens, and every participant has my admiration.
Logo reproduced with permission from Reel Challenge
One must be seen now however. Right now. In fact, the clue is in the title: "London Right Now".
Captured by Content Creator, Shazin's poignant film distils this moment in our nation's history with tenderness and power.
Speaking about her reasons for making this film:
"We've had a tough few months in the UK, with terror attacks and political uncertainty. The national mood has been extremely low. The fire at Grenfell Tower made it impossible to ignore the disparity between the poorest people in society and the richest. It has put huge questions marks over the concept of austerity, whatever your political stance.
I made the video to try and capture the Nation's mood.
My favourite vloggers and content creators don't make videos about political topics, tragedy or sadness, and in doing this they are creating an illusion; papering over history. I felt that if I didn't make the video I'd be going against my true feeling. "
Shazin worked entirely alone on the film, editing it in five hours on her arrival in Budapest on Sunday 9th July using a borrowed laptop. "London Right Now" was recognised with the MasterClass Learning & Development Award at the Reel Challenge, receiving nominations in several other major categories.
While I have struggled to watch the news in recent weeks since the tragic fire in West London, I found this film to be cathartic and hopeful despite its devastating honesty of the tragedy that continues to unfold in the Capital.
Award-winning filmmaker Shazin
My compulsion to write this blog post is with the hope that "London Right Now" may restore your faith in the resilience, determination and strength of the human spirit. Our ability to communicate is the source of our humanity, and this raw tribute to survivors and victims of abhorrent inequality is vital. Right now.