The glitz and glamour of the movie world came to Richard House last Saturday (27 October 2012) as Beckton in East London was sprinkled with stardust and transformed into Hollywood-on-Thames.
The event marked the culmination of a year’s filmmaking achievement by the children and young people who visit the hospice. Bernie Wighton, a play and care worker at Richard House, set up the award-winning Living Films Project more than three years ago, using equipment donated by Lifelites.
Simone Enefer Doy, chief executive of the national charity said, “The Living Films project is the embodiment of the Lifelites mission: using technology so children in hospices can find an outlet to communicate and express themselves. The films are brilliant, too, so congratulations and celebrations are definitely in order.”
Lifelites installed a brand new package at the hospice last year, meaning Bernie was able to launch the Saturday Film Club, where up to eight children use the video cameras and computers donated by Lifelites to make short films and animations.
A red carpet leading into the community room and giant cut outs of Superman and James Bond, as well as two Oscar statues, created a real Hollywood buzz. The films, ranging in genre from comedy to documentary, were each screened on Saturday to a rapt audience before the children were awarded prizes for their efforts.
Murad, who is 13 and has Fanconi Anaemia, was awarded Best Music Video for his Bollywood-inspired film and Best Broadcaster for his impassioned political speech to the President of Pakistan.
“I love film club,” Murad said, “I love fun things like the music video but I also wanted to do something political.”
Gowhar, Murad’s Mum, said, “He is so excited to come to film club and it is also educational because he learns so much.”
Bernie said, “It has been a fantastic day and such an important event for the children. Living Films and the film club is about living and celebrating life. Lifelites technology makes this all possible and allows us to make these films that mean so much to everyone.”