Middlesex University, working with Barnet Council and the Barnet Multi-Faith Forum, has helped produce an inspiring video showing how various different local faith groups have been supporting the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 and the lockdown has had a significant impact across faith groups and communal prayer, weddings, funerals and festivals.
Trevor Alexander, MDX's Head of Health and Safety and in his role as Co-Chair of the Barnet Multi Faith Forum, was invited by Barnet Council to co-produce the short video highlighting some of the extraordinary efforts of individuals and faith groups in supporting each other and their communities.
This has been a widely collaborative and far-reaching project bringing staff and students together with a range of community groups, leaders and voices across Barnet.
"The University welcomes people of all faiths and none, and faith is central for many of us in defining who we are and what we do," Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University.
Helen Bendon, Director of Programmes for the Moving Image Directorate and Senior Lecturer in Film Production, wrote and developed the script.
Hadiya Masieh, Community Engagement Coordinator in Growth and Corporate Service at Barnet Council, and Esmon Rosen Co-Chair Barnet Multi Faith Forum then distributed the script to their networks across the borough.
Nick Convery, GAA, a new member of the MDX staff team assisted in providing guidance notes to participants to film and send their contributions, while the film was edited by Jakub Holub, a third year BA Film student.
Helen Bendon said the project was completed in just eight days despite the challenges faced by the lockdown restrictions.
“This really was a quick lesson in lockdown filmmaking – directing from a distance," said Helen.
"It’s great to be able to offer students opportunities like this at such a difficult time.
"We are adapting to the current situation and finding news way of working together, which I find really exciting.
"This was a win-win situation in terms of a production for the community and a great experience for the students involved which the University was very happy to support."
Esmond Rosen has already widely shared the film, calling it an “excellent production of togetherness” to represent the strength, flexibility and incredible contribution and support faith-based and multicultural organisations are providing not just to their own communities, but to their neighbours as well.
Nic Beech, the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University who appears in the video, said: "It was a great idea to produce the video and it demonstrates the level of mutual respect in our community.
"The University welcomes people of all faiths and none, and faith is central for many of us in defining who we are and what we do.
"It is very important for the University to support our faith groups and recognise the support and learning they provide for everyone."
The film also features Esmond Rosen, Deacon Anthony Clark, Sardar Ravinder Singh, Rabbi Rebecca Birk, Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch, Asmina Remtulla, Shaykh Yazdani Raza Misbahi, Ali Madani, Rabbi Miriam Berger, Roya Azordegan, Reverend Ben Twumasi, Duncan Hanton, Julie Datta and Rabbi Oliver Joseph.