Joe Crabtree and a team of teenage film enthusiasts created the 25-minute piece this summer – featuring local landmarks Orleans Park School, Twickenham High Street and Ham.
However, their funding from the British Film Institute was suddenly pulled following coronavirus budget cuts.
Now, the teens are fundraising so that the film – ‘Wen Will I See U Again, Sam’ – reaches a greater audience.
Tackling social issues such as substance abuse and family conflict, Joe says it sends an important message to his peer group.
“Richmond has some of the highest rates of drug use in London, despite it being an affluent area,” says the Member of the Youth Parliament for Richmond.
“I’ve seen friends turn to drugs and the effect it’s had – they become a different person,” the 17-year-old adds.
The plot follows a dyslexic teenager as he struggles to maintain a relationship with his troubled older brother.
And the team includes friends, family, and the helping hand of a BBC camera man, who had faith in the project.
A student at Esher College, this is not the first time Joe has delved into issues facing his generation.
In 2017, he wrote and directed a short film, ‘StressTest’. Commissioned and funded by Public Health England and Kingston & Richmond Youth Council, about heightened anxiety around exam times.
He then went on to write and direct ‘Passing with a Fail’, a satirical portrayal of the UK GCSE system.
However, Joe says his ability to share films with the public is limited without funding. So, he has launched a Kickstarter with a goal of raising £2,500.
“This is a great opportunity to help both young people and artists, disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Without help during post-production, we will not be able to share our film.
“The more money we raise, the more festivals and screenings we can enter. Allowing us to screen this film with the greatest audience,” says the 17-year-old.