Advocates of social film, participatory video and community cinema will be delighted to hear that Surrey County Council in the UK has successfully launched a highly successful Community Film Unit which now operates as a Social Enterprise.
Is it too much to hope that every county in the UK will now follow their example? Long live Community-led D.I.Y films!
Or D.I.T. "Do it Together"?
To add to their success they have recently been awarded a Social Enterprise Mark.
Their website reports:
"The Community Film Unit is a registered social enterprise run by a team of skilled graduates who work to empower communities through film and an expanding range of media tools.
The Community Film Unit have three social objectives, which are achieved through film, graphic design, photography, web design and music.
A combination of all the media tools available lends itself to the creation of a unique and diverse resource. We also offer a range of training, placement and shadowing opportunities for young people which has proved to be an influential, engaging and excellent developmental experience where all involved learn new skills and are exposed to exciting new experiences."
You can read more about their success here, or read the Press Release below:
"A film unit Surrey County Council launched has been handed a national award recognising its status as a social enterprise working for the benefit of local communities.
The Community Film Unit, set up just over a year ago through the county council's youth development service, has been awarded a Social Enterprise Mark.
It is believed to be only the second film social enterprise in the country to get the award. The mark confirms the unit is an organisation that reinvests its profits into activities that benefit local neighbourhoods.
Films of a youth justice conference, an assembly for children and young people and the High Ashurst Outdoor Education Centre near Dorking were made with the council.
Since striking out on its own, the unit has produced a string of films for the likes of Surbiton Hockey Club and Pupil Voice and Participation England, the national organisation for school councils. It also made a film for this year's Surrey Youth Games.
Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
"It's fantastic news that this home-grown social enterprise has been given this prestigious national recognition. I’m delighted for the people involved with the film unit and I look forward to it going from strength to strength."
Matthew Joblin, the unit's project co-ordinator, said:
"We’re very proud to have achieved the Mark and the Community Film Unit will continue to support and raise awareness of the social enterprise revolution. We are tremendously grateful for the continued support from Surrey's youth development service."