Brixton film shows why Lambeth should be London borough of culture

Sophia (Zoié Dash) and Alan (Jaz Hutchins)
Sophia (Zoié Dash) and Alan (Jaz Hutchins) in The Be In Me

On the day that Lambeth submits its bid to become the first London Borough of Culture, one of the thousands of reasons why the borough is a creative and cultural powerhouse will launch.

Set largely in Brixton, The Be In Me is a web drama series produced by London-based On A Reel productions that will be available on YouTube from 5.30pm tomorrow (Friday 1 December).

Paris may get a look-in as the backdrop for a few scenes in the four-part work, but Brixton locations like The Lounge and Chip Shop BXTN are where the action takes place.

Wayne Smith, father of author and star Zoié Dash, is a long-term Brixton resident.

And the first-ever showing of the series took place in the Brixton Pound café.

Zoié and father Wayne in the Brixton Pound cafe after the show
Zoié and father Wayne in the Brixton Pound cafe after the show

“Passion, togetherness and optimism” are what the Lambeth London Borough of Culture bid team say typifies local the borough’s people. And there was plenty of that at the premiere of The Be In Me, a cultural venture by local people, produced on a shoestring but bursting with energy, drama, great acting and a striking soundtrack.

There will be plenty more going on in Brixton tomorrow connected with the borough of culture bid, including a party in Brixton Station Road to coincide with the Christmas lights switch-on.

London boroughs are bidding for more than £1 million to put on a programme of ambitious cultural activities, put culture at the heart of the community and celebrate the unique character and diversity of London people and places.

Two boroughs will be named London Borough of Culture in February, one for 2019 and the other for 2020.

A further £600,000 will be available to six additional boroughs with “exemplary” individual projects.

The competition is designed to strengthen London’s reputation as an international powerhouse for culture and ensure that Londoners from all backgrounds and corners of the capital are able to enjoy the city’s arts and cultural offerings.

Winners will be chosen for their artistic vision and their ability to deliver an array of outstanding cultural initiatives in their local area, and for their authenticity – putting communities at the centre of the programme’s design, commissioning and delivery.

Successful boroughs will mount cultural programmes that attract Londoners from across the capital and visitors from further afield – this might include new festivals, exhibitions and pop-ups.

More than 70 Lambeth organisations, from  the West Norwood Feast to the National Theatre, are backing the bid

Sonia Winifred, Lambeth council cabinet member for equalities and culture, who is heading the borough bid, urged residents to share news about the bid and to get friends to back it by showing support on Twitter and Facebook, using the #OurLambeth tag.