We Move

In We Move, a young Portuguese boxer and an ex-champion in East London battle personal fears and societal challenges, seeking success through boxing.

A tough childhood along the edge of crime in East London didn’t stop Fabio discovering a clear purpose in boxing. He sets out to go pro one day, under the wing of James Cook MBE – a super middle-weight British champion recognised for his support of youth along Hackney’s notorious ‘murder mile’. But along the journey, what Fabio finds at the Pedro Youth Club goes far beyond his time in the ring: self-discipline, a sense of community and, ultimately, a second home. Since 2011, London’s youth clubs have nearly halved in number. As of 2022, the remaining 40% face closure due to under-funding and pulled government support.

Credits / Collaborators / Cast

Fabio Oliveira
Kane Morgan
James Cook MBE

Directed, Produced & Filmed

Editor: Elliot McIntosh

Special thanks to Pedro Youth Club, Hackney Council, ScreenSkills, Directors UK, Maralyn Cook. Find out more about the club at: https://pedroclub.com/

A Just Be Nice Studios production. All Rights Reserved 2023.

Winner of Best Short Documentary, London Independent Film Festival, 2023
Winner of Best Short Documentary, Northampton Film Festival, 2023
Official Selection, British Documentary Film Festival, 2023
Official Selection, Beyond the Short, 2024
Shortlist, SP New Filmmaker Award, 2024
Honorable Mention, Screener Film Festival, 2023

Director's Statement

“We Move” was a little passion project I took on last year. We all know now that sometimes the directing dream can be synonymous with a big-city grind and back-to-back rejection emails, but at the time, this had me questioning everything, and I was pretty in need of a creative pick-me-up. “We Move” started as just that, but became something much more personal and meaningful.

Picture this: I’m on an upskilling course in East London for documentary TV direction. Our final task is to self-shoot and direct a 2min story local to the area. Every other weekend, as I grab lunch in between class, conversations strike up with shop-owners and local residents about how youth clubs in the area are closing down faster than you can say ‘austerity’. That’s when I meet Fabio, a kid who could’ve easily taken a wrong turn, but instead finds his calling in boxing. His new home, Pedro Youth Club, is run by James Cook, ex-super-middleweight champion and MBE, who’s vision is not just to teach boxing, but life lessons too.

Thanks to Screenskills and Director’s UK – who were running this course – we had access to some kit. The idea was to just grab a camera, find a story, and shoot. We’re talking a few hours of filming, and just half a day to get locations, contributors and access lined up. It didn’t take much research to find that since 2011, London’s youth clubs have nearly halved in number. And as of 2023, the remaining 40% faced closure due to under-funding and pulled government support. Then – another penny dropped. I’d been bouncing around directing a lot for factual TV recently – from entertainment formats to more observational stuff: in the past year, this avenue had proven more reliable and regular, while pitching and waiting on the commercial and narrative jobs. But, honestly, I’d gotten pretty burnt out and was itching to break out of the usual factual TV constraints – with the same style of interviews, predictable voice-overs, formulaic shot sequences etc. So, the solution? Maybe “We Move” could became my playground. And the little exercise, a chance for something more.

I hired some janky anamorphic set-ups through Fat Llama and got to experiment with a few different shooting styles. As a solo operator, I’ve always found it fun to rely on just my own skills, but it’s rare feeling like you don’t have anything to lose. And truth be told, finding the play back within work felt so energising. I also really have to shout out Elliot McIntosh who supported the project in his spare time, and had it not been for his confidence and belief – this footage would still have been gathering dust on old hard drives. He made the edit a breath of fresh air, and as we experimented with more fluid and layered sequences, the process has helped me clarify how I want to build narratives for bigger projects in the future.

Overall, “We Move” is obviously super small-scale, pocket-funded and filmed over two days at the gym last summer. But despite being simple and self-contained, it turned out to be exactly what I needed to refuel my creative engines.

Most importantly and rewardingly though, there were the guys at the gym – Fabio, Kane and James. They were brilliant – allowing me into their world, showing me the ropes, quite literally. The way we set up the interviews, in a circle and conversational, felt like an antithesis to the more produced, factual TV standard. I really wanted to create something more collaborative and interactive, not shying away from my own presence in their space. And despite the floating camera and quick turn around, they all reacted so warmly, bouncing off each other, even talking about stuff they probably wouldn’t usually get into – things that resonated with me on a deeper level – like what it means to be a man these days, and how to deal with fear and even failure.

Ultimately, “We Move” is about keeping your spark alive, no matter what. The film is a tiny glimpse of real people, real struggles, and real talk. It touches on seeing strength in vulnerability, and how places like James’ gym are more than just a place to train – they’re a lifeline. One that in London, we as communities and voters need to find better ways to support. But – on a purely personal level, the film has also become a fierce reminder to keep creating, and that sometimes, the most impactful stories, the ones you need the most, might be right around the corner.

If you turn away for a split second, you’d miss it, but there’s a line Fabio mutters under his breath that got under my skin.
It bounced around again and again in the edit. He’d taken a hit, but his eyes were looking up into the sun, his chin unbowed: it’s “part of learning” he said, “…we move”. So – here’s to pushing forward. No matter what.

JIJO (he/they) is an emerging director, producer and screenwriter. Spanning both documentary, narrative and commercial worlds, his award-winning work explores humanism, systems of power and contemporary culture.

Born in Mumbai and raised in London, his pursuit of impact storytelling has earned recognitions such as IMDb’s New Filmmaker of the Year, a Cannes Young Director Award nomination, Best Documentary at Cannes Short Film Festival and a place on BFI x BAFTA Crew 2021 as well as Bafta Connect 2022.

Human stories are the heart of JIJO’s work, examining issues like social justice, human rights, the environment and culture and taking him to over 60 countries. He
has produced multimedia reports, films and commercials for clients ranging from Google to Universal Music Group, BBC Studios, Microsoft and The British Museum to Save the Children and Choose Love.

Since 2017, he expanded his work towards more cinematic and longer-form visual storytelling. Since then he has written five short films. In 2019, his drama,
Moonlight Dreams was selected in several Oscar and Bafta-qualifying festivals, premiering in the UK at Raindance and launching online on Nowness and Omeleto.  His narrative series, F*ckbois – a 6 episode 30min comedy-drama exploring masculinity and mental health – has been option for funded development. And his latest, ambitious 25-min short KALI (2023) is a neo-noir thriller set in India which has won several awards on the festival circuit and is in active development as his debut feature.

Across factual, JIJO often works as a self-shooting producer/director for broadcast, including for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and Discovery. He
has led observational and formatted programs across Europe and Asia, while his independent documentary work has won development support and funding from BFI Doc Society, Creative England and been selected for screenings at Tribeca, Sundance London and the Houses of Parliament.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, he directed 6-part performance film series Silent Spaces commissioned by Arts Council England. This won Best Direction at the LA Music Video Awards in 2021, and he continues to collaborate with the best upcoming talents to direct music promos and documentaries.

JIJO also worked as Deputy Head of Creative and Senior Director at RDContent – a global advertising agency and production company – before in 2022 founding
Just Be Nice, a multimedia creative studio dedicated to optimistic and empathybuilding impact storytelling for the modern era. Today, his work builds cinematic stories that foster empathy and challenge minds.


Genre: Documentary
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Length in minutes: 12
YEAR: 2024