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Leeds Beckett at the Leeds International Film Festival


Our Northern Film School has had a series of films shown at this year’s Leeds International Film Festival, and our partnership with the Leeds Big Screen mean we’ll also be involved in showing some of the Festival’s events.

Still from the film Blacker Than Black

Thanks to our partnership with Leeds City Council to manage the Leeds Big Screen, Leeds Beckett are classed as one of the venues at this year's Festival. We’ll be showing a programme of short (some very short!) films and animations on the screen throughout the Festival, starting at 08:30 daily between Friday 11 and Thursday 17 November. On Saturday 12 November this included some of the earliest ever coloured moving images by Edward Raymond Turner, and Louis Le Prince's first moving images (pictured below), which he shot in Leeds in 1888. There will also be screenings of the BFI's Early Cinema films, featuring better known silent film classics.

Still from Louis Le Prince film

Our Northern Film School has also had a part to play in the Festival. South Yorkshire residents who experienced the miners’ strike of 1984 - 1985 have collaborated with Northern Film School students, graduates and staff to create eight short pieces collectively names ‘Mining the Memories’. The films premiered as part of the Festival on Monday 14 November at Leeds Town Hall.

Sam Morgan, an ex-coal miner with 33 years’ experience, wrote the film, Respect. He explained: “After some tuition by the Leeds Beckett team on how to change my writing preferences from songs, poems and full-length fictional works into a film script, I, along with several similar writers, submitted a script for a short story. 

“It meant so much to me to be invited to make the film; especially as the Leeds Becket team allowed me to be hands-on in several aspects of the creation of the film. I now eagerly await the finished product when it is cast onto the big screen at the Leeds International Film Festival later this month.”

Jennifer Granville, Principal Lecturer commented: “Mining the Memories started off as a research project where we aimed to work with a group of people from mining communities and see if we could develop a script, written by them, to produce. The work that they wrote, during our workshops, was so powerful, that we ended up making all six dramas and two documentaries. Our students worked on the films and learned inestimable amounts, not just about filmmaking, but about the industrial history of the area that their University is based in and the meaning of community.”

The workshops resulted in five short dramas - Blacker than Black, A Piece of Coal, Respect, She Had a Dream and Coke Not Coal. Two documentaries were also made: one based on the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and another made with the Goldthorpe Community Shop. A final film, an animation, was created entitled, ‘The Enemy Within?’ 

Find out more on the Leeds International Film Festival website.

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