Chocolate Films Workshops has received £150,000 in funding from Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of the Big Issue Group.
Rachel Wang and Mark Currie founded Chocolate Films in 2001, with a simple goal: to build a high-quality video production company with a clear social purpose. It now has a team of more than 20, with bases in London and Glasgow, satellite offices in Germany, Portugal, Italy and the USA, and an international network that gives it a much wider reach without compromising its values.
Chocolate Films’ social mission is to provide training and employment opportunities to young disadvantaged people in London. Over the last 12 months alone, the company has produced over 25 films and provided training programmes and work opportunities for over 3,000 young people in London.
The money from Big Issue Invest will allow Chocolate Films to finalise its new studio in Nine Elms. Nine Elms Studios (www.nineelmsstudio.com) will be twice the size of their current space and is purpose-built to deliver Chocolate Films social enterprise model. The new facilities include a purpose built studio space, dressing room, studio storage and hot-desking space.
Chocolate Films Workshop’s social mission is to provide young people with quality training and employment opportunities. They work with many different groups of young people including through schools in highly deprived areas around London. They have also engaged with ex-offenders, children coming out of care and people experiencing homelessness.
Chocolate Films receives contracts from charities, housing associations and other community groups to run community and education programmes with disadvantaged youths; they also offer filmmaking courses focusing on social issues. In the past, the company has provided filmmaking services to a range of national charities and social enterprises including the National Autistic Society, Catalyst Housing, the National Union of Teachers and Big Issue Invest to name but a few. They also run an extensive outreach programme of educational and community film-making projects.