ARTICLE: Power to Change Premiere, Ritzy Cinema, Brixton
November 2021, The Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, London UK
The Ritzy is an iconic building in the heart of Brixton. It is one of England’s earliest purpose-built cinemas, surviving the Blitz and numerous managers but always remaining a hub of activity on Windrush Square.
On November 10th, 2021, Celebrate Life premiered their new documentary Power to Change to 200+ people for the very first time.
This film had been in the making for more than two years but now the moment of truth had come - how would a wider audience receive it?
In attendance that evening was the High Sheriff of Greater London who represented the Queen, the Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, Alex Murray MET Police Violence Lead, and Lib Peck, head of London’s Violence Reduction Unit. There were also local councillors and representatives from a host of organisations working at a grassroots level in Lambeth.
The cast was there too, some of them seeing the film for the first time. Watching Power to Change with them, on the gigantic Screen 1 at the Ritzy Cinema, made it an emotional experience, and the energy in the room was palpable. For many this was the first time going to a cinema or gathering in a crowd for two years since Covid started.
The film was followed by a panel discussion which included Dwaynamics Director Pastor Lorraine Jones, cast member and Founder of Impact Brixton Gerald Vanderpuye, Director of Power to Change Wendy Lewis, and Paul Bloomfield, trustee of the Desmond Tutu foundation U.K. and communications consultant to The Prem Rawat Foundation.
During audience reflections Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove received applause when he said that he wants to show the film to all his officers.
One lady said: ‘It was a beautiful documentary, from sadness and tragedy came inspiration. I felt empowered watching it, instead of hopeless. The takeaway message is: what more can I do? It was a call to action.'
The audience reaction made it very clear that Power to Change has an important, relevant message needed today. This was the start of a journey that is still unfolding.
Photos by Michael Padilla of Magnify Productions