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Teenagers celebrated as Youth Stories of Brent documentary launches in South Kilburn

PUBLISHED: 13:52 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:43 11 September 2018

Young film-makers behind the Youth Stories of Brent  (Picture: Brent Council)

Young film-makers behind the Youth Stories of Brent (Picture: Brent Council)

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A disabled teenager from Neasden who has beaten the odds to go on and represent England stars in a new youth-led documentary celebrating young people from Brent.

Brent councillors and mayor with stars from the Youth Stories of Brent documentary  (Picture: Brent Council)Brent councillors and mayor with stars from the Youth Stories of Brent documentary (Picture: Brent Council)

More than a hundred people packed into the Granville Centre in Carlton Avenue, South Kilburn on September 8 to celebrate the launch of Youth Stories of Brent.

The film captures the journeys, hopes and ambitions of young people while breaking down stereotypes and negative perceptions attached to them.

Teenagers aged 13-19 were recruited last year to be trained in film production skills by media training company, ‘You’re Only Young Once’ (YOYO).

The young film-makers have played a central role in the making of film, whether in front of the camera or behind it.

Oakington Manor School took part in  Youth Stories of Brent  (Picture: Brent Council)Oakington Manor School took part in Youth Stories of Brent (Picture: Brent Council)

Stories include young sports people, ex-prisoners, apprentices and entrepreneurs and the organisations that have helped them.

Aspiring actress Kaiaa Shepnekh-Boston, 13, from Harlesden said: “There has been a lot of negative stories about young people in the press which is very demotivating. We wanted to challenge this one-sided view and tell our own diverse stories.”

Amar Mazigh-Aichoun, who lives in St. Raphael’s Estate, represented Team England at the Commonwealth Games in April.

The 20-year-old was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis aged 13 but went on to win his first silver and bronze medals when he represented Team GB at the Junior Para and World Para Athletics Championships last year.

He is now training hard to run in the IAAF World Championships in Doha in 2019, and the Olympics in 2020.

He said: “The film launch was a great experience especially knowing that I was in it, meeting the Brent public and meeting the other youth of Brent. It will definitely leave a mark in Brent history to motivate youths in Brent.”

Savannah Mullings Johnson, from Kingsbury, added: “Youth Stories of Brent is a powerful and empowering documentary highlighting the incredible young people living in Brent. It defies stereotypes and makes me extremely proud to be a young person living in Brent.”

Cllr Mili Patel, Brent Council’s cabinet member for young people said: “It is fantastic to see young people highlighting themselves in this truly positive way by making an inspiring documentary about some of Brent’s talented young people.”

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