Running Thoughts : film making with the Vault Project

By Alexander Nicolaou

Date Posted: Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Alexander Nicolaou lives in London and makes films.


Running thoughts : film making with the Vault Project


Early in 2009 I turned up to an event which was mentioned on the East End Film Festival website.    The event was supported by the five London boroughs who are hosting events in the 2012 Olympic Games and by the London  Development Authority, Tower Hamlets 2012 Unit and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority  It was called the Vault project and it had been set up to allow young people who were aged between 14 and 19 years and from the boroughs, first of all to learn how to make films and then if we showed potential we could go on to actually make documentary films that linked the 2012 Olympic Games with the last London Olympic Games in 1948.

The organisers were looking to find people who they thought might be able to make a film. Those of us who were selected to take part in the project were given professional film training which included narrative development, filming, and sound recording and editing. When we had finished the training we were let loose to make our own film.

Our film, Running Thoughts,  took a look at what an Olympic Games means to the community where they are going to be held, what participating in the 1948 Games meant to competitors who are still living in our community  and what it now means to people who hope to be competitors in 2012 Paralympics and the Olympics. Featuring in our films were people like John Partlett who had run in the 800 metres in the 1948 games and  Rikki Fifton who hopes to compete as a sprinter in the 2012 Games. Meeting these people and making films about them was a privilege for us. We spent a great day shooting the film with them at Lee Valley Park.

I think all of us making involved in making the film, Raihan Muhammad, Imran Jabber, Aswathy Mohanlal, Plamen Kirtchev, Abdul Kashem and I, when we came to the first open workshop weren’t expecting much and we never thought that we’d end up making a film. We were all generally involved in the film making but each of us had a specific role too. My job was to interview the athletes from the present and the past who were a part of the film. Each day we met to discuss our film over a free lunch at the local curry house ! It was great fun, a great experience and a great opportunity for us.

Ours was one of five short documentary films made by participants in the project . Many of the people involved with the project have gone on to work on other film projects and three of us have gone on to win a Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) media bursary which is awarded to only 18 young people throughout England.
If you’d like to watch our film and the other four films you can find them at

I hope you like them.