Film news

Caring, sharing secret agents: Tom Cruise and Mission Impossible make good things possible for London community groups

28th July 2015
Jeremy Renner in Islington. Pic: Juliet McConnell
Jeremy Renner in Islington. Pic: Juliet McConnell

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, is just the latest blockbuster making a new start possible for homeless young people in Lambeth.

Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and the Impossible Missions Force return to our big screens on July 31st with the fifth in the action thriller series, already predicted to be a box office hit.

Take a look at the trailer here.

In the film there’s a key scene on the Albert Embankment. By way of saying thank you to Lambeth residents, the production made a donation to local charity Creative Sparkworks.

Chief Executive of the charity, Sylvia Edwards, explains how Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, along with other big budget movies filmed in Lambeth, has consolidated the industry’s positive impact on local young people, many of whom have been referred from homelessness charities.

“The Mission Impossible team made a very generous donation to us that went towards vital kit like lenses for the cameras we use on our film training course,” she says.

“It comes alongside the training, funding and support we’ve received from Legend, Kingsman: The Secret Service, A Hundred Streets, starring Idris Elba, and the new Bond movie Spectre.

“This level of support from the film establishment has helped us attract more BFI Creative Skillset and Lottery funding for film and media skills training courses – so we can support the next team of young trainees into work.”

“And it’s provided essential, paid work for the trainees who’ve already done the course.

“The paid work further encouraged our trainees in their own filmmaking. Ayo Bodunrin, for example, won an Octavia Trust award for directing, filming and editing a piece about the Queens Park Rangers youth sports training scheme. And he’s completed his own short film Struggle of Life about the hard times many young people he knows are going through in London today.

“Our trainees went on to great opportunities such as filming West Ham FC for Sky Sports, and lots of paid filming for local community groups. And others went on to further studies.”

FilmFixer director Andew Pavord says knitting professional support together with charities on the ground is essential to making sure Londoners benefit fully from local filming.

“The right infrastructure is essential,” he says. “There’s a great deal of good will on the part of big budget filmmakers. A lot of people in the industry welcome the opportunity to give young people a hand up the ladder. But there has to be support on the ground, connecting young people in to these opportunities.

“Creative Sparkworks is a brilliant example, working with young people every step of the way, often from homelessness, into skills training and, crucially, paid work.”

The film also shot in Islington, where it made a donation to the Cripplegate Foundation – set up in 1500 to tackle poverty and inequality in the community – and still doing so today.

Andrew Pavord adds, “The Cripplegate Foundation is another great example of a group that’s able to direct donated funds into many programmes for the good of local people. Something filmmakers are also very grateful for in Islington.”

Locals around the Farmiloe Building in St John Street were thrilled to see the team filming scenes around there in November last year. The building was dressed as a record shop.

In the film, Hunt’s IMF agency comes under threat from the Syndicate, an organisation of assassins and rogue operatives who kill to order. Ethan Hunt assembles his team for their final and most difficult mission — to prove the Syndicate’s existence and bring down the organisation.

“It’s wonderful that London can attract the likes of Tom Cruise and the Mission Impossible production,” Andrew Pavord says. “And even better to know the production team takes a positive attitude to helping the community.”

The audience will also spot Camden locations, including a chase sequence, with Tom Cruise running along Carey Street and into Fleet Street. There are key scenes inside Kings Cross station as well.