With millions of people being able to watch different films each day, filmmaking is arguably among the top ways of creating awareness. From Cinema Halls and online streaming services, access to films is now much easier.
Reggery Gravenbeek is a film initiator and producer making an impact on the lives of people through film. Having encountered street life and first-hand crime, Gravenbeek is on a mission to ensure young people do not have to endure what he did.
Growing up in an environment where most people end up involved in crime, Gravenbeek was introduced to crime at a young age. He recalls dealing drugs at 17 years old. By the time he was 20, he knew the ins and outs of street life. At one time, Gravenbeek recalls getting into a fight with a rival that turned into a shooting spree, and he was sent to prison. During his seven-year stay in prison, Gravenbeek took time to reflect on his past, and he certainly knew he needed to change his life.
In his recent film, De Druk, Gravenbeek paints a picture of young people in a working-class neighborhood and how one wrong choice can have a long-term effect on their lives. Through this film, Gravenbeek aims to create awareness for young people on the dangers of street life, crime, and drugs.
Mistakes are there in life, but what matters most are the lessons learned from those mistakes and how you lead your life after. Gravenbeek notes one of the main challenges most ex-prisoners face is rejection. He says people rarely see you as a transformed person. When most people look at you, they will tend to see your previous mistakes.
After he was released in 2012 for good behavior, Gravenbeek says he struggled to get a job as people did not want to hire him after hearing about his past. He then decided to follow his passion for acting and was featured in various movies such as Guys’ Night, among others. While acting, he was intrigued by what happens behind the scenes, and he decided to focus on filmmaking.
Together with Team AnkleBand, he now tours schools and prisons while serving as an inspiration. Additionally, he engages in helpful discussions with them and helps nurture their talent. He says there is a lot of potential in people in the streets but they lack a platform and proper guidance.
Through his films, Gravenbeek aims to create awareness of the dangers of street life and aims to change the perceptions of people towards street people. Gravenbeek says rejection and judgment can drive a person to go back to crime as they feel society does not accept them.
Overall, it is important not to judge others as everyone is prone to making mistakes. As he continues to make inspirational films, Gravenbeek hopes that more people will learn from his mistakes and avoid making wrong choices. To learn more, follow him on @reggerygravenbeek or LinkedIn.