Community Filmmaking & Media Projects…
Sparks Communities is a Community Interest Company that inspires, educates and empowers children and young people through participatory film and media arts activities.
Our community filmmaking projects work with children and young people who face disadvantages to improve their life chances.
We engage participants who often feel excluded from or underrepresented within arts activities, with a special emphasis on programmes that focus on inclusivity, or projects that seek to improve youth mental health and wellbeing.
We believe that all young people deserve the chance to tell their own story and express their point of view. Our community filmmaking and media projects offer empowering experiences. Our passionate and creative team put young people at the fore of each of our projects.
Through our activities we build confidence and aspirations, as well as valuable skills for the future. We aim to provide a safe space for children and young people to express their voice, share their experiences and interact with the world in new and interesting ways.
Recent Community Filmmaking Projects:
What It’s Like to be Me
A collaboration with Essex based charity Kids Inspire to deliver a film workshop project alongside drama therapists as 11-16 year olds made films that explored what life is like for them, exploring bullying, mental health issues and the pressures of being a young carer.
Girls With Goals
An aspirational programme with Bishop Challoner’s School in East London. We worked with a group of teenage girls to help them create a film that explores issues around representation of women, women in the workplace and aspirational role models for young women.
A filmmaking workshop project for teenagers in South London who have struggled with the effects of the 2020 lockdown. We’ll be exploring mental health issues, pressures of being a teenager and using creative skills to create an engaging film project.
A collaboration with Into Film, working with groups of teenagers to produce films that explore mental health issues.
Participants make their own film that responds to their experience of mental health issues.
A workshop project with John Cass School in Stepney Green in collaboration with Into Film. We worked with a group of students to adapt Richard III into a modern day film using text from the Shakespeare play.
Boys with Books
A project with Burlington Danes Academy in Shepherd’s Bush. We worked with boys aged 17-18 to make a documentary about career choices, studying the arts and gender issues and stereotypes about what boys should study.
We worked with BCL to run filmmaking workshops inspired by books in the library to encourage literacy skills as well as improve engagement with the Library. Children aged 5-10 explored favourite stories and then created film and animation sequences inspired by them.
Year 4 Rivers Project
A documentary project with year four students at Castle View Primary in Slough, helping students to create live action and animated films for a special cinema screening event for their friends and family.
A filmmaking project with Queensmead School in conjunction with TFL. Students made films about safe journeys to school and hired a bus to shoot their films on location.
Sparks was founded in 2010, beginning with children’s film and media programmes in London.
We’ve since worked with many schools, educational organisations, charities and community groups to inspire over 5,000 children and young people to get involved with filmmaking.
We were founded by Dan Farrell and Donna Bamford, who still lead the company today. We’re now joined by a wonderful team of filmmakers and arts educators who support us to deliver our work.
Funding & Support
Our community filmmaking and media projects supported by the Sparks Film & Media Arts group of companies, who provide us funding through their mainstream operations, as well as in-kind resources and staffing support.
We also receive financial support through individual donors, through several trusts and foundations and partnerships. We’re very thankful to all of our partners, donors and sponsors, who enable us to make a difference in children’s lives.
If you’d like to find out how you can support our mission, please get in touch with us via the form below.