From an Amateur Documentary Maker to BAFTA Jury Member

In the Pursuit of Role Model Representation……..

I moved to the UK in 2013 and from day one I have been inspired by the amazing people I have met here, they have motivated me to do more and fueled my curiosity.

While I was in awe of these everyday superstars that came my way I was equally disappointed that despite it being 2014 the mainstream media’s portrayal of role models was stuck in the 60s where we as a society glamorize old white men a la Bill Gates and Warren Buffet (I have nothing against them and even shed a tear when I had a chance to be a front row audience to Bill Gates in 2018) but in order to encourage diversity and develop more leaders we need to showcase what they don’t or can’t see right now and thus may not aspire to be.

Someone had just informed me about o2’s new venture which funded social impact projects of young people between 18–25 and slowly things started falling in place or rather history was about to be made. The whole- being at the right time and right place has literally taken me to places I never would have imagined.

So here I was at a house party and happened to meet my friend’s flatmate, we exchanged contacts as he was a film-maker and editor and a few months down the line we met-up to discuss our very first documentary on young change-makers in the UK.

The first documentary- Young Change-Makers in the UK

Portraying the work of these amazing people I have met along the years

Together this community in the face of their own personal adversity have delivered over 1000 workshops combined worth over £100k in value and have created a huge digital footprint of positivity. They have been resilient and managed to impact over 10,000 people across the length and breadth of the country and inspired others to take action and make small differences. Here are the stories of these changemakers in more detail

https://medium.com/@shwetalshah/youth-community-resilience-in-the-u-k-f13b54be2cf1

The most amazing thing that happened after this documentary screening was Femi (11) won the Princess Diana Award after he was spotted at the film screening and he now continues to teach coding to more kids in London and becoming a role model to everyone that meets him.

The second documentary- Balancing Tech, Women at the Forefront of Gender Revolution

Getting a lot of creative energy from the first documentary and wanting to showcase role models in the tech field, when I was chosen as the UN Empower Women 2016 Champ, I decided to create another documentary

‘Balancing Tech’ was screened at IBM, this led to the Feminist Library launching a tech skills programme and won an award at the Girls Impact the World Festival.

Here are the stories of the women featured in the documentary https://medium.com/@shwetalshah/women-at-the-forefront-of-gender-balance-539faac2a763

Starting out as an amateur and wanting to do something fun with my friends in my spare time, I was amazed with the impact a single project can make and how this led to me being invited to be a jury member of the BAFTA Film awards in 2018 for their newly introduced social impact category in the Children’s award I was inspired to see the great work that is being done to educate, inspire and inform the younger generation.

I have major gratitude to Jack Stephen Foxwell who was onboard with helping me film and edit these two projects and Nelly Tookey who helped me edit the women in tech documentary!

Now I am off working on https://medium.com/@iamcampaign2019, let’s create more role models!