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'I love Barking. It's turning a corner': Budding film-maker strives to put town on the movie map

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 16 August 2019

Jenkinson Southern wants to put Barking on the map with his next short film G.O.A.T. Picture: Jenkinson Southern

Jenkinson Southern wants to put Barking on the map with his next short film G.O.A.T. Picture: Jenkinson Southern

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A budding film director is paying tribute to the streets where he lives in his next movie.

Franck Assi and Jeremy Champion. Picture: Jenkinson SouthernFranck Assi and Jeremy Champion. Picture: Jenkinson Southern

Jenkinson Southern, of Bastable Avenue, Barking, recruited youngsters from the borough to make his short film, G.O.A.T., which he expects to hit independent cinemas in February.

The 23-year-old said: "People who film in London usually head to the main parts, but there's a lot of great places in Barking. It has a reputation for being a horrible place, but I love it. It's turning a corner."

Jenkinson wants to put Barking and Dagenham on the film-making map and is shooting the film on the Thames View estate over three days.

The cast are mainly up and coming actors including Priscilla Binnersley, Franck Assi, Natalya Micic and Jeremy Champion. Muzzammil Hashmi is director of photography.

Franck Assi is among the cast. Picture: Jenkinson SouthernFranck Assi is among the cast. Picture: Jenkinson Southern

"Getting young people involved gives them an opportunity I wish I had growing up," Jenkinson said. "Youngsters need something positive to do. A lot of them are very talented."

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The movie buff - who credits Black Panther director Ryan Coogler as a role model - described the 18-minute long film as a mix of video game, Grand Theft Auto and sci-fi TV sitcom Rick and Morty.

G.O.A.T. tells the story of three friends from east London who have to wage battle with a wizard to rescue a pet cat.

Natalya Micic appears in the film. Picture: Jenkinson SouthernNatalya Micic appears in the film. Picture: Jenkinson Southern

The former Barking Abbey pupil admitted the plot is a bit unusual, but said: "I just want to bring out-there stories to the screen."

To do that, Jenkinson, who has a film studies degree from Kingston University, works as a warehouseman from 7pm to 3am weekdays and is a part-time freelance video editor.

He has set his sights on making it big in Hollywood, but vowed to still come back home to Barking.

He said: "There are days when I think I'm pushing myself too much, but when I see the trailer or the actors get credit from their friends and family or all the positive reaction, it makes it all worthwhile."

G.O.A.T. follows Jenkinson's first feature-length film, The Art of People, which premiered in May last year.

To watch the trailer visit the Mavrik Studios YouTube channel.

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