Friday 4th May saw BFI Southbank host the screening of Southall on Film by Make a Difference Entertainment (MADE).
MADE is a social enterprise that has dedicated their work to uniting diverse communities and giving those in marginalised groups a brighter future through the co-creation of digital content and entertainment.
Blaise Singh, founder and CEO of Make a Difference Entertainment, had been accompanied by young actors and filmmakers for the screening of various short films that they produced and starred in.
The subject of the event and overlaying project was the West London Suburb of Southall, with each of the short films showcasing topics synonymous to its historical past.
Before screening the eight shorts, the audience were shown the Southall on Film documentary created by young independent filmmaker Afshin Rohani.
The documentary not only showed what happened behind the scenes of the short films, but also gave insight from those who have lived and experienced life in Southall.
Often associated with its working class South Asian demographic, Southall’s community and sub-culture is built around the basis of Cinema and Bollywood films.
When put into context, the eight short films thread the general themes of Cinema and Bollywood films together.
However, the young artists did a great job in blending in topics revolving the plight of Southall’s minority groups throughout the ages.
These included the topics of discrimination with the Southall Riots and the National Front; as well as the topic of Communal Taboo with sexuality in the Asian communities.
Some also discussed the subject of community cohesion after loss of something special to the hearts of many – the decline of Southall’s movie theatres.
The documentary & short films do well in educating the audience of the district’s history and bringing perspectives alive on to the silver screen.
The event was somewhat of a discovery for those in attendance as, although many knew racial tensions were high back in the 70s and 80s, some younger members were surprised at learning that they only hit the surface of the subject.
With discrimination and hate crime coming back on the rise in recent years as a result of the EU Referendum, Southall on Film is a reminder to viewers of what has happened in the past due to xenophobia.
Though hatred can cause divide and push people down, it’s love and unity that will always prevail in times of hardship.
MADE have not only successfully given young people a chance to express themselves through digital media, but also bring impactful storytelling to a wider audience.