People Involved
Length of Project
Estimated Budget


Nine Elms Past and Present is a media and heritage project. Its purpose is to discover real life stories about people that lived and worked in Nine Elms before the decommissioning of Battersea Power Station in 1983.


Chocolate Films has always been based near Nine Elms, currently the fastest changing part of London. We have had a relationship with both the developers and the communities near the developments for many years and thought it would be invaluable to research and document the social history of this changing area. The result was a fantastic programme, devised with young people, in partnership with local arts and cultural organisations which outreached to local residents.


Our filmmakers trained and supported 30 young people to engage with an older generation and uncover unheard stories about the area and its history. The participants learned documentary filmmaking skills and created four short documentaries as well as many oral history recordings. They learned how to create a dedicated website for the project and are now designing an exhibition to showcase their creative work over the programme’s life. Many of the participants became Chocolate Films Ambassadors and achieved Arts Award from their work on the project.


We have held a range of exciting events for the local community. Highlights include the launch event and screening at Battersea Power Station of The Optimist of Nine Elms plus a Q&A with director Anthony Simmons and an Oral History Collection Day at Battersea Arts Centre. The films and some of the archive materials unearthed during this project were displayed at a free exhibition in Battersea in 2016.

Learning Goals and Achievements

Young people have become Chocolate Films Young Ambassadors and created a dedicated website for the project and are designing an exhibition to showcase their creative work over the programme’s life. The films made by young people together with images and footage found as part of the project will all be available for a wider audience to engage with and enjoy on the website in March 2016.

  • 1 Silver Arts Awards

  • 2 BBC Work Experience

  • 10 Bronze Arts Awards

  • 1 Career Development to VSO

Nine Elms: Past & Present Project Videos


Brian is passionate about his community and the role of art for political change.


Born of Nigerian and Irish heritage, Gabriel Gbadamosi is a poet, a writer and an essayist.


He came from Guyana with his father and aunt to “seek a better life”, after his mother passed away.


She is a practising Humanist Celebrant and is very much involved in local community politics.


There are currently opportunities to curate a public exhibition of films and sound recordings in Nine Elms which will open in Battersea in early 2016, working closely with Wandsworth Museum for expert advice about curating heritage material.

Chocolate Films Workshops will be working in Nine Elms as part of the new Cultural Quarter from 2019 and so as producers we are excited to develop new engagement opportunities in Nine Elms.

To find out more about the project visit the new website created by young people as part of the project: VIEW WEBSITE If you would like to get involved please contact us on :


Had a great time at this event- was good to see a film I might not have found on my own and an added bonus to have Q&A with the director! Thanks!

From the launch Event at Battersea Power station

'Lovely space for the event and people are generally responding well'
'Fascinating - a unique experience'

From the community screening on the Patmore Estate

‘Very enjoyable workshop, all staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, as were all other filmmakers. An incredibly good experience from start to finish' - Louis Kelly

From the Summer Filmmaking workshops

Funders and Partners

Wandsworth Heritage Festival

Wandsworth Arts Festival

Nine Elms on the Southbank

Battersea Power Station

Wandsworth Arts

Wandsworth Museum

Heritage Lottery Fund