Racism in the Shadow of Covid-19 : Documentary

8 Minutes 46 Seconds

A cinematic documentary film

Directed by Leon Oldstrong
https://www.leonoldstrong.com 



As with all parents I constantly worry about my children, but as a Black father, I worry about the day that my children are shown that their skin means that their lives are of less value than their white counterparts. I was 11 when I realised, I was Black. I was 11 when I realised that being Black meant unfair treatment and injustice was my normal. I don’t want this for my children. I want my children to grow up in a world where they don’t have to worry about being abused by the police, where they don’t have to worry about a white woman calling the police because her ego has been damaged, where they don’t have to worry about being losing their life because of the colour of their skin.

As a Black man I have faced racism in my daily life in various forms. I have had a white woman (deputy head teacher) attempt to end my teaching career because her ego was bruised and I have had lies told about me because I dared to challenge a white teacher (again a deputy head teacher) coming into school in black face, I could go on for ages.

As a Black filmmaker I have struggled to get the support of the mainstream media in telling the stories of the lived experiences of black people – in fact I’ve never had it. This has made it that much harder, but I have persevered, and I have told the stories – our stories and I will continue to tell our stories. So many individuals from the Black community have been doing the work to change and improve the lives of black people. There are countless books, podcasts and documentaries out there that articulate the issue with excellence but still it hasn’t been enough.

So, now I am seeking the support of the ‘crowd’, the wider community, because for once it actually seems that they, you, are listening. For once, it seems that we have been seen.

The aim is to produce a 30 – 40-minute documentary film about racism, specifically anti-blackness in the context of this current climate of quarantine, weaponized white privilege and police brutality. 

Black Lives Matter is more than just a hashtag, more than just a trending topic on social media. It is literally a matter of life and death. When BLM is no longer trending what will your stance be? Will you stop making people like me feel like we don’t belong in our own neighbourhoods? Will you listen when black people speak about their experiences? Will you challenge racism in spaces where black people aren’t present?

If you feel this is something you that is important, and you are able to make a donation please if you are comfortable leave your name – I want to add every person who supports the project to the credits.

About the Film

8 Minutes 46 Seconds – this is how long Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck, whilst three other officers stood by.

On a regular day Black people deal with the trauma of racism in all its subtle forms; microaggressions, being mistaken for someone else of the same race (who we look nothing like), being asked to speak on behalf of all Black people, being labelled aggressive when we stand up for ourselves, being accused of playing the victim when we speak about our experiences, hearing about the racist experiences of a friend and family, witnessing racism in the media, racist posts online, followed or watched by security guards or store clerks, asked if you can touch our hair, told that we fit a particular Black stereotype, abused by police -the list goes on… we carry this everyday.

This will be a raw, unapologetic look into the lived reality of Black people within the context of the global pandemic, how it has affected us in ways that wider society seems wilfully ignorant of. Following three individuals from the Black Community, the film will illustrate and address what it means to be Black in Britain and how the lockdown has  exacerbated our lived realities.

Due to the death of George Floyd, I believe… I hope that this is a story that white people are now ready to hear and are ready to listen to without questioning and disputing our lived experiences.

This is a story about anger, grief and trauma under the shadow of Covid-19

Budget Allocation
A cinematic documentary film needs funding to bring it to life. Your contribution will help to make it possible. You're contribution will go towards:

Production and Crew
Most of the crew are freelancers, who given the current situation will have suffered a real financial blow. Reaching our target will allow us to hire them full time for this project.
We aim to shoot for approximately 10 days (adhering to social distancing and safety protocols), for which we will need to hire kit.

Post Production

Constructing and developing the narrative
Producing a trailer 
Film festival submissions
Editing the film
Sound Design
Colour Grade
Promotion
Promotional Artwork
Composing an original score

Whether you’ve been protesting throwing up a fist in solidarity, posting black squares on Instagram or challenging All Lives Matter bullshit on Facebook, or sharing your pain on the phone to friends, here is a chance to be a part of something that will keep the story alive, here is a chance to enable a black story to be told by a black person. 

Black Lives Matter, it’s about focus not exclusion.

**Important note

Businesses can make a huge change, so we're calling on you to support this project - be the change.
We've been fighting this fight for the longest time. Our cries haven't been heard our pain hasn't been seen. It's your turn to do the work.

Thank you - we can make a change.

About the director:
Leon is a self-taught London based filmmaker. He has a reputation for being unflinchingly honest in addressing racism and injustice. Wider audiences first became aware of Leon after his short documentary That's Not Ours premiered at Sheffield Doc / Fest in 2018. The film is a deeply personal exploration of racist media stereotypes and the consequences faced by young black men and boys as a result all framed around Leon's younger brother Ethan - an innocent victim of knife crime. Leon is passionate about telling stories that challenge stereotypes and change perceptions. His most recent film Fair Trade addresses the issues of grooming, recreational drug use and its role in the youth violence impacting disadvantaged communities. This emotional drama has amassed over 600,000 views since its launch in February 2020.  His latest project is aimed at reducing serious youth violence is currently in post-production.

Previous Work

Safe Space | A Journey Through Racism
https://youtu.be/dgunBAYkoxE 

Thats Not Ours
https://youtu.be/KywsBsAJ2Zs 

Sweet
https://vimeo.com/259024445 

Fair Trade
https://youtu.be/0Y61hHnZ1Ro 

We Are One | Growing Up Somali in Britain
https://youtu.be/KOVRGz5H4c4 

Unlace Your Shoes, Put on Mine - I am a Black Woman
https://vimeo.com/224638071 

Enough - Proof of Concept Trailer 1 (2016)
https://vimeo.com/176351592 

Enough - Proof of Concept Trailer 2 (2016)
https://vimeo.com/192050490

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • 30 £ 
    • 1 hr
  • s smith 
    • 10 £ 
    • 1 hr
  • Anonymous 
    • 20 £ 
    • 5 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • 20 £ 
    • 6 d
  • Abigail Waddill 
    • 20 £ 
    • 11 d
See all

Organizer

Leon Oldstrong 
Organizer
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more