Interviewed by journalist and filmmaker Leah Green, Reggie was forthright in describing the themes in his work, from masculinity and fatherhood explored in ‘Patriarch’ to the complexities of relationships formed using apps online in ‘Date Night’, and the vulnerability of a young black man wearing an electronic tag in ‘Shelter’ — a theme revisited in ‘Roadkill’, the final film of the evening.
Student Ubayda Basith, 16, asked what advice Reggie, 35, would have for his teenage self, starting out in the filmmaking industry. Reggie reminisced about his journey from Lewisham to City and Islington College each day on a Genaro Moped 125, sporting dreads, moustache and a Bajan blue bomber jacket, as a naïve but self-confident youngster. He concluded: “I simply did not have the same self-awareness that you clearly have, so you will be ten years ahead of me if at your age you just concentrate on what it is you want to do and where you want to get to.”
Also from Lewisham, City and Islington student Skye Weldon commented on a powerful scene from ‘Shelter’ in which the white female character appears uncomfortable sheltering from the rain next to the black male protagonist. Skye asked if the dynamic in this scene could be a racist one as well as a sexist one.
Reggie responded: “I didn’t give any answers for the scene, I left it open ended. You need to watch it and find the answer for yourself based on your own experience.”
Reggie Yates studied A Levels in Media, Art and Graphic Design at City and Islington College.