Who knows recovery better than those in recovery themselves? Who knows the cycle of crime more than people who’ve been to prison? That’s why we wanted to get people who have lived experience of crime and addiction involved in filming real life stories for our More Than My Past campaign.
More Than My Past is our national campaign tackling stigma towards ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction. It showcases the inspirational life stories of those who’ve had challenging pasts but have since turned their lives around – our campaign ambassadors – in the format of written stories, films and podcast episodes.
Until now, we’ve had our professional filmmaker, Max, make films for the campaign, and he’s done a fantastic job. However, now we’re turning the campaign into something ‘for the people, by the people’ – putting the power of creation into our ambassador’s hands.
Not only does this mean our ambassadors get access to top-notch training in film-making, but it will help the campaign grow, reach more people, and, hopefully, transform more lives.
Max, our More Than My Past filmmaker, says:
It’s a real privilege to be involved in this project. What we’re doing here is monumental. As filmmakers and storytellers, we’re always striving for authenticity. And by working with those in recovery and who have been through the prison cycle, we’re going to start telling these stories through a whole new lens, whilst equipping our students with transferable skills. It echoes everything More Than My Past is about and what we have built to date – capturing honest and genuine stories that transform perspectives. I have huge ambitions for this first cohort and what we can achieve in the future.
In recent months, Max and Forward’s Film Academy team have developed a comprehensive step-by-step manual and ‘how to’ videos, as well as interactive online workshops. Students are also supplied with state-of-the-art kits to help them produce quality films using their smartphones – including lights, microphones, a tripod and a professional filming app.
Our pilot training is in full swing and the first cohort of Film Academy students are helping us shape the process at every step of the way. Once they have built up their skills and confidence, they will go out and film a prospective campaign ambassador. While working closely with the team to craft the final product, each student is encouraged to develop their own vision and conceptualise, storyboard, shoot and capture their subject’s story.
Follow our More Than My Past social media channels for updates and to see what’s going on behind the scenes!