If you don’t already know of Mouth That Roars
(MTR), we think you should. Their sole purpose is to train young people in film production who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to media resources, enabling people who are often misrepresented a space to be heard and a medium to voice their thoughts and feelings. The films they create are told from the lived experiences of the filmmakers, challenging mainstream narratives. Based in Hackney, MTR is just a stone’s throw from Autograph’s gallery, and we’re proud to work with them.
The In Focus Film Club at MTR is for filmmakers with autism and a broad spectrum of learning differences. We partnered with them earlier this year on the film A Different Way of Seeing
(watch it here
), highlighting the experiences of black young people with autism. Following on from that project, Autograph’s Ali Eisa met with the Club over Skype during lockdown, sharing photography from our collection exploring questions of identity and activism. These images were used to discuss current events such as Black Lives Matter, and how stories can be told. He also set a challenge. Since everyone was at home surrounded by their personal possessions, Ali asked each filmmaker to select an object that mattered to them and create a 60-second film about it.
The challenge was a way to keep making films despite the restrictions of being at home – many of the people in the Club are vulnerable and shielded throughout lockdown. As the responses came in, we combined them into a short film. What Matters?
is a collaborative snapshot of lives in isolation, exploring what matters to these young people during the upheavals of the current moment. Watch it below.