Oak Tree Community Centre

Looking Forward: Looking Back

Sometimes, the funniest things happen to a film maker.

I just happened to be passing a community centre in Hythe, Colchester and called in to speak to a wonderfully warm manager by the name of Debby Eley.

I asked her if we could make a community film, with students that she knew would really benefit from taking part in project about the people of Colchester.

I couldn't have asked for a more welcoming invitation. So, we set about planning and trying to make this project work.

The film turned into one of the most amazing film experiences of my life; we decided on making a documentary.

We spoke to a group of older participants, some from The Haven care home in Ipswich Road, and a handful of kids from the St Anne's Community Centre in Greenstead.

The result is a film of 'two halves'. The first part asks questions of the older age group, reflecting on their hopes, dreams and aspirations, with ages between early 70s and a couple of 92 year-olds!

This is then juxtaposed with the younger students who were asked almost identical questions. The responses were not necessarily what you would expect!


There were surprising answers from both the older and younger people we interviewed.

It was an amazing week and the premiere at the Colchester Arts Centre, in late November, saw the older and younger interviewees coming together for the first time.

A very special event underlings just how important films like these are for bringing a diverse community together under one roof.

With grateful thanks to all the participants for their time. An amazing film.

Chris Bruce - November 2018

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