Beacon Film Festival Shines a Light on Victims of Crime
Films about the #MeToo movement and the devastating impact crime has on victims, were this year’s  winners at the Beacon Film Festival, which took place in Welwyn Garden City on Friday, February 9th.

Students from Oaklands College teamed up with Beacon – Hertfordshire’s victim care centre – for a second year to host the event with an aim to bring awareness to victims of crime and highlight the services offered by Beacon.  

Over 100 students aged 16+ from Oakland’s’ BTEC Creative Media and Foundation Degree courses, produced the films which were shown to an audience of 300 people. Some of the students even reflected on their own experience of being a victim of crime as the theme for their film.

The judging panel included BBC Three Counties radio presenter, Roberto Perrone, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd and Hertsmere Councillor Pervez Choudhury.

David Lloyd said: “I was really impressed by the high standard of films shown this year. Film is a great medium to tell a story and this festival has provided an opportunity to engage with younger people and understand the issues of crime from their own experiences and those of their peers.

“Students used their creativity and expertise to really reach out to the community and demonstrate crimes like cybercrime, domestic abuse and hate crime are happening, whilst also highlighting that there is support available through Beacon to help victims on their journey to recovery.”

The winning films announced were; #MeToo from Level 3 students and Vicious Circle produced by Level 4 and 5.

The winners of the Level 4 and 5 category were awarded a grant of up to £1000 from the Police and Crime Commissioner to make a film about modern slavery. The film will be used to inform the public of how this crime impacts our communities and society.

Oliver Samuel, Lecturer and Filmmaker, Oaklands College, added: “I am really proud of all the work the students put into producing these films which covered a wide range of topical issues.

“This year also saw the addition of filmmaking and photography workshops that gave more of an insight into themes like modern slavery, cyberstalking and the impacts of crime on victims.”