Meet Mediorite: How a Film Production Agency Tackles Youth Unemployment in Hackney

Providing work experience placements to young people can change their lives for good. That is one of Bootstrap’s seven charitable objectives, and we work with our tenants to make it happen. Mediorite, an award-winning creative agency based in our buildings, is a social enterprise that tackles youth unemployment by providing young people with training and entry-level opportunities in the film industry.

Mediorite operates both as a traditional creative agency selling film, animation and photography for clients, as well as offering more affordable shoots by hiring young people on set. This allows some clients to access more affordable work and provides young people with work experience.

Besides that, Mediorite works with a diverse range of young people helping them build their confidence, communication, teamwork and planning skills, enhancing their employability and increasing their knowledge of the creative industries. They do that mainly through SHIFT, a 12 week training programme for young creatives aged 18-25 based in Hackney and Tower Hamlets,  which is currently on its 6th year, and through their Youth Board, where young people are given the opportunity to feedback and give ideas on the delivery of their youth work, network with other creatives and guest speakers. This ensures they are a youth-led creative agency. They also run yearly film screenings showcasing young people’s short films, which takes place at Hackney Picture House Cinema.

Reuben, who did a work placement at Mediorite when he was 18 years old, and is now their Head of Training, told us about the impact the experience had on his career:

“At the time, I had no motivation and didn’t know what I wanted to do, so it was really important for me to get that work placement. Understanding how Mediorite works and seeing the productions gave me the inspiration to do better. I felt confident with my skills, and learned to do things I couldn’t before. They really supported me and helped me grow as a person. After my placement, I freelanced for them, finished my studies and then I was hired full-time, and now I’m managing other people.”

Reuben now delivers the training programmes, looks for funding, meets with stakeholders and organisations to make sure they have the right partners and runs the Youth Board, where he gets other young people to come up with creative ideas for their programmes, creates short films, finds guest speakers, organises masterclass sessions and connects young people with professionals through events to showcase their work.

He has always enjoyed working with young people, and it was after a trip to India where he created a documentary at the age of 21 with a charity that he realised he wanted to mix his passion for film and helping young people with a similar background as him. Apart from his own personal success story, there are many others he helped to make it happen.

“Last year, a young person had an ultimatum from their family to find a job in the film industry in three months or give up. They went through our training programme, we helped them get work experience and now they have a full time job in the industry.”

Reuben enjoyed so much helping young people that he is now looking to train as psychotherapist! He’ll start his studies soon while continuing working at Mediorite.

If you are a young person or know someone who could be interested, Mediorite has two programmes coming up in the next few months: 

For anyone under 25 years old, there is a masterclass on the 4th of August with Innovative Producer and Director David Anibaba. You can find more information and sign up here. 

For young people between 16 and 19 years old interested in learning about the different processes of filmmaking, they can apply for the next Connect Programme. It starts on the 19th September and runs for 6 weeks. It Includes an level 1 AQA qualification for 11-15 and Bronze Arts Award level 2 for 16-19.  For more information and to apply, email your CV, the programme you are applying for and why you think this course would be suited for you to Reuben@mediorite.co.uk and Alnique@mediorite.co.uk.

You can follow Mediorite on Instagram here.

Bootstrap Charity is a workspace and business-led charity that promotes responsible business as a way to address inequality in Hackney.

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