FROM THIS DARKNESS - ELSA STANYER / by Emma Barnaby

"Initially this film was documenting how London is drastically changing and my personal response to this. A lot of the footage I shot was when I was travelling to and from school, shooting familiar scenes and things that I saw everyday. I wanted to document how my part of London is constantly changing and how London is becoming more of an elitist city for the wealthy. A couple of the buildings I have filmed have since been knocked down, and I wanted to document these buildings and bring out their beauty. I used a camcorder effect to document the dates, and the pace of change, which I feel is an important element to this film. I found that not only was I documenting changes to my physical environment but also that the film turned out to reflect personal changes. So for me, this film has a number of meanings, about how London is changing, which is the more obvious reading of the film, but also reflecting my own changes and recovering from my problems.

Partly for me, with my film, From This Darkness I wanted to go against the notion that to make a film you need expensive equipment as well as a cast and crew, which is why it appealed to me to enter this competition. I wanted to show the potential in just picking up your phone and filming what you see. As someone who is dyslexic, filmmaking and photography is an important and accessible way for me to communicate my ideas. In the future I hope to be making more documentaries about people and their personal stories. My aim with my films is to tell stories, and to show other young filmmakers that our point of view can be refreshing and interesting."

Elsa Stanyer, 18