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New Project Announcement | Becontree Estate

Oct 7, 2021

Northern Heart Films are working with The Mirror and Barking and Dagenham College to produce a short film that lends insight to what life is like on Becontree estate, past and present. Becontree Estate, once the largest social housing estate in the world, celebrated its 100 year anniversary this year. Becontree is bursting with history and rich in diverse culture since construction began in 1921 to provide ‘healthier homes’ for the working-class communities of the East End. This is a really exciting project for us and a new venture as we’re working alongside and advising students from the Photography and Moving Image Programme at Barking and Dagenham College.

The students will be assisting us with the research and filming whilst we guide and edit the piece. Our Head of Production, Scott Bradley, knows all too well as a former film student, that collaborative projects such as this can be few and far between, so we’re happy that we can lend our 10 years of experience in the creative industry to provide the students a full and authentic experience as to what it’s really like to work on a real shoot for an actual client.

‘Coated in Trails of Wisteria’ (Instagram, @Photography_BDC)

We’ve discussed with the program leader, David Bennett, about the impact this experience will have on the students participating in this project with us. He believes that this type of collaboration is critical for students. David maintains that this experience will provide his students with a realistic understanding and practical experience of liaising with a client to successfully collaborate to produce content that will be made into a film to be seen by many.

“What can be a better and more invigorating way to start a new course than to work on something like this? Students will develop skills in research, production, photography, film making, sound, editing, working to a brief, working to deadlines, team work, liaising with a client and working under pressure”

David Bennett, Programme Leader of the Photography and Moving Image programme at Barking and Dagenham College
‘Coated in Trails of Wisteria’ (Instagram, @Photography_BDC)

Having students with us on the shoot will be a fantastic opportunity for both sides. The students of this program can lend us some of their knowledge about Becontree Estate from their own project, ‘Coated in Trails of Wisteria’, which comprises work made in, on, and around the Becontree estate that marked its Centenary. Northern Heart Films want to hear from ordinary people who live on the estate, those new to the estate, and those who’ve lived on the estate their entire lives. 

We’re looking forward to collaborating with the students and hearing their ideas as to what they think will work visually and the kinds of contributors who will best fit this film. We hope that the students can draw upon useful insights from their knowledge and experiences of the Estate that assist Northern Heart Films in getting the best content for the film.

Hayley Hoban