1000 Londoners: Lambeth film company launches groundbreaking documentary series


The 1000 films will offer an in-depth video portrait of the city.


By Jack Skelton

A unique documentary series telling the stories of 1,000 London lives is offering an in-depth video portrait of the city.

The 1000 Londoners project, from production company Chocolate Films, was launched at BAFTA on 23 April with a screening of the first ten films.

The Lambeth-based company will upload a new film each week to, showing the entire spectrum of London life over the five-year project.

“On you will meet the famous and the homeless, the richest and poorest, the young, the elderly and everything in between,” said Creative Director Mark Currie.

“Our goal is to look under the surface of the greatest city in the world and discover what a Londoner really is.”

Stories from south west London have featured prominently in the films already released, including Clapham Common circus performer Sarah Ramsay and Wimbledon 14-year-old Frank Roome, who uses sleight-of-hand magic to overcome his ADHD.

The first south west London subject was Tooting Bec resident Ami Sawran, a 27-year-old vet, actress and co-founder and editor of lesbian magazine Reprobait.

Her story is the first documentary produced by a member of the public for 1000 Londoners after filmmaker Kat Wooton won a competition run in conjunction with London Short Film Festival (LSFF) in early 2014.

“It was a bit strange to be on camera talking about myself as I’m used to playing someone else,” said Ms Sawran.

“I don’t consider my life to be out of the ordinary but some people do so it was interesting to see it from another person’s perspective.”

Ms Sawran, whose film will also be shown at LSFF 2015, is encouraging others to get involved and make the most of this ambitious project.

“Even if you think your story isn’t worth sharing, people will find intrigue and interest in all sorts of ways you couldn’t even imagine.”

The latest film centres on retired fashion designer Yvonne Couture and her resplendent Merton home.

She also tells the tale of finding a lost photograph of herself and late husband David in the 2012 Tate Britain exhibition Another London.

“The project is a brilliant idea because it’s very inclusive, which we need now more than ever – so I participated,” she said.

“When you have a simple idea which appeals to so many people you can’t go wrong.”

Chocolate Films was set up 11 years ago by Mr Currie and fellow director Rachel Wang and focuses on telling human stories through films that can actively help people improve the world.

The films for 1000 Londoners will be produced by the company’s filmmakers alongside young people and community groups given opportunities to contribute their own short documentaries.

The company expects the project, part funded by City Bridge Trust, to be the largest video portrait of a city ever undertaken.

To find out more information about the films and get involved visit

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