Students create film about the effects of knife crime

Young people in Haringey encourage their peers to say ‘I’m Out’ to knife violence

Student Noah Gezahgne stars in I’m Out
Credit: Luchia Robinson

By Luchia Robinson

Students from Haringey Sixth Form College have created a series of bold, short films about the effects of knife crime, and the consequences that follow.

The three-film series called I’m Out depicts the story of a knife crime incident, told from the perspective of the assailant, and those close to him.

Jordan Anaedozie, who starred in the film, said: “I feel like people who commit crimes (or who could commit crimes), don’t actually understand the consequences. They haven’t experienced how it feels to live in prison, or lose family, or become alone, because they tend to build the image of the big tough guy; but they really don’t know that that image could lead them to unnecessary regret – losing what could have been a great future, losing your life, losing a family that cherishes you.”

In the year ending September 2019, there were 44,771 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales – a 7% rise from the previous year. Knife crime in London increased by 2%.

This youth-led film project aims to tackle the knife crime crisis, offering perspectives from young people, for young people.

Jordan Anaedozie has a staring role
Credit: Luchia Robinson

Jordan said: “I’m hoping that this film
causes some type of awakening, not only
for people who live that type of lifestyle.

“We want to understand those who do the crime and teach them a way out, or a way to work towards, what I’d call, a clean aspiration.

“I don’t want this film to just stay in north London, it’s something that can go [out] to each and every borough around the UK, raising awareness.”

The films were produced by Casual Films, and were created in partnership with Haringey Council, and the Metropolitan Police.

Principal and Chief Executive of Haringey Sixth Form College, Russ Lawrance is pleased with how the students embraced the opportunity to address the tough issue of knife crime.

“The students have gone through it from thread to needle – everybody’s played a part, whether it’s been in front of the camera, whether it’s been as runners or stage crew – [this experience] has made learning real,” said Russ.

“It’s very brave for the students to say ‘we want to do something about this.’ Everybody can be against knife crime, but ‘what are you going to do about it?’ This film looks at it from their perspective, from their eyes – and their peer group can relate to it.”

More than 20 young people took part in the film project, which premiered at Cineworld in Wood Green, at the end of February.

The film premiere
Credit: Luchia Robinson

The process of making I’m Out has allowed
the students to take on a range of roles within
the creative industries, gaining insight into film production, from initial development stages, right through to the screening night.

Leyla Cin, a student who worked in a production role, said: “We had the council come in, they sat down and had some meetings with us – I thought that this was my chance to have a voice – to give full on power and opinion.

I gave so much feedback, and I told them bluntly what I like and don’t like, and what I want the message to be throughout the film.

Leyla added: “If I’m 100% honest, I didn’t know that I was going to study media, but I’m very glad that I did because I definitely want to do something within the film industry, production-wise, because I think I’m more of a ‘behind the camera’ person.

“This opportunity has been unreal.”

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