Back in October, Studio Giggle’s founder and creative director, Steve Garratt, became a mentor on a programme called ‘Stories from our City’. The programme aimed to help get young, diverse and aspirational filmmakers into the industry. Boomsatsuma, a Bristol business that helps get young people into the creative industry through vocational training, diplomas and degrees in creative fields, organised the programme. The programme was also partly funded by Bristol 24/7, a local independent newspaper that aims to make Bristol a better place by supporting local projects like this.
The participants on the programme, who all had no experience of filmmaking, had 16 weeks to conceptualise, plan, film and edit their film before it would be premiered at an event at the Royal Photographic Society. Each film had to be a short documentary that explores a person, group, place, event, organisation or social issue specific to Bristol.
Steve mentored an aspiring filmmaker called Rae. Rae chose to make his film about Olubodunrin Tokosi a Bristol City councillor and CEO of Tokosi & Partners.
Steve said; ‘Rae is the perfect example of what is possible in a short space of time. He not only found a story and worked out a way to tell it, but he was also personally inspired by the subject of the story’.
Over the 16 weeks Steve aided Rae in the production of his film through email support, and chats about the editing process, life in the filmmaking industry and the possibilities that are on offer in Bristol.
Talking about the programme itself, Steve said;
‘The Stories from our City programme has delivered 4 unique stories that, without the program, would never have been heard. We, as an industry need to become more aware of our shortcomings and ensure we are vocal about success stories like the Stories from our City Programme, to ensure more talent from underrepresented groups is produced. It shows a glimpse of what is possible and it’s up to us to decide what we do next.’
Rae was one of the four participants on the programme. Each participant showcased very different stories of Bristol: Collins focused on Bristol’s vivid music scene, with a particular interest in the grime scene, Warefta told the story of the forgotten lives of the victims of Bristol’s involvement in the slave trade, and Kendra’s film followed her best friend and what it was like for her growing up in Bristol as a french, Muslim woman and the first-hand racism that she experiences.