Our Freemen in Focus – Rachel Wang
In the first of an occasional series we put one of our Freemen’s activity under the spotlight.
Chocolate Films is a video production company and social enterprise with offices in London and Glasgow. Set up over 15 years ago by Freeman Rachel Wang and her co-founder Mark Currie, it has grown to now comprise a team of 26 providing its services to charities, museums, galleries and heritage organisations, as well as creating cinema documentaries. Passionate about telling human stories they endeavour to make films that can actively assist people to change the world for the better, either through direct campaigning or awareness-raising.
Under the title of 1000 Londoners this is the flagship project of Chocolate Films producing the most in-depth and expansive documentary series ever produced about the city.
Each week, at 1000londoners.com, viewers are able to watch a three-minute film about a new
Londoner. The range of stories is as diverse as the city itself. The series includes stories such as Leni whose flat burned down in London’s 2011 riots, David who captains the Woolwich Ferry, political mural artist Brian Barnes OBE, transgender magician Victoria and Samson, an ex-gang member now born again Christian.
The filmmakers at Chocolate Films both produce the films and provide opportunities to young people and community groups to make their own short documentaries, which contribute to the 1000 films.
A brand new series of 15 short films, the multi award-winning documentary project 1000 Londoners discovers the lives of 4 generations of Londoners with Caribbean heritage.
Each of the films portrays the experiences of a single Londoner, including:
- Dame Jocelyn Barrow, knighted for her achievements in race-relations, who recalls persuading the shop owners in Oxford Street to employ black women on the shop floor;
- Teacher Sara Burke who led the 2018 protest about the treatment of the Windrush Generation;
- Ground-breaking BBC journalist Alex Pascall who reminisces about interviews with Bob Marley, Mohammed Ali; and many more.
Alongside the short documentaries, new edits can be seen of rarely-seen Super 8 footage from Brixton during the 1960s to 1980s, from former pentecostal Minister Clovis Salmon aka ‘Sam The Wheels’ who came to London from Jamaica in the 1950s; and of BFI archive from Notting Hill Carnival.
‘Windrush Generations’ has been curated by Rachel, whose mother moved to London from Jamaica during the Windrush era. Rachel hosts panel discussions on the Legacy of the Windrush Generations with some of the Londoners featured in the films after each screening.
Rachel and the project were recently featured on BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms show. It can be heard here
If you would like to see any of the upcoming screenings they will be hosted at:
- Kenton Evangelical Church Friday 23 November 7.30pm (free),
- The Curzon Soho Wednesday 5 December 6.45pm
- And the Ritzy Cinema Thursday 6 December 8.30pm
If you would like to learn more about the project, or get involved, details can be found here
If you would like to be featured in a future In Focus article then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org