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World Premier Of Austerity Fight Tonight

June 16, 2017

Tonight is the world premier of ‘Austerity Fight’ at the Rich Mix cinema in Bethnal Green.

Save Charing Cross. NHS demonstration. March 2017.

Save Charing Cross. NHS demonstration. March 2017. From ‘Austerity Fight’.

In February 2016 Hazuan Hashim & I decided to make a feature length documentary about the impact of Austerity policies in the UK. Perturbed by the rise in child poverty, food banks, zero hour contracts, library closures and public services cuts we felt we had to document how ordinary people are responding to austerity. We have been making films together for 15 years and we thought it was our responsibility as filmmakers to do something about the rising tide of inequality throughout the UK. We were delighted to here recently that the film has been accepted for its world premier at this years East End Film Festival on June 16th at the Rich Mix cinema.

'Cut War'. NHS demonstration. London 2017.

‘Cut War’. NHS demonstration. London 2017. From ‘Austerity Fight’

As independent filmmakers we tend to break the established conventions of documentary filmmaking. When most documentaries are made the filmmakers tend to have a narrative that they set out to embellish through what they film. Before the film is even made they can usually tell you what the story line will be and how it will end.

March against the privatisation of the NHS. London 2017.

March against the privatisation of the NHS. London 2017. From ‘Austerity Fight’.

In order to gain finance for films you have to make a ‘pitch’ to production companies who will want to eventually sell the film to distributors or broadcasters. This means the film will have to embrace a narrow ‘middle of the road’ perspective. Years ago we decided to try and work independently so that we could maintain artistic independence and editorial control of our work. This means we don’t really make any money from our films – we just survive. If we wanted to make money we would have to engage in self-censorship.

Doctor. Save the NHS. London March 2017

Save the NHS. London March 2017. From ‘Austerity Fight’.

‘Austerity Fight’ is crowd funded and people from all over the UK and abroad have chipped in £5 or more to help us cover the expense of making the film. We’ve met some incredible people over the last 18 months. We’ve interviewed disabled people who’ve had their benefits cut, pensioners, construction workers, nurses, doctors and academics. As we’ve collected material the film has developed; it’s an organic process and we are never sure where the film will be taking us next. When we viewed the final cut of ‘Austerity Fight’ we were particularly pleased with the wide range of regional accents in the film.

Much of the film was shot in East London and Spitalfields in particular. Over the years we’ve built a considerable archive of film and stills of the UK that helped us with ‘Austerity Fight’. When I started making films people assumed that I had stopped taking photographs. In fact I’m probably taking more stills than ever and probably more people are seeing my photography through the films I’ve been making with Hazuan. I’ve been photographing the East End for 36 years and the film contains a lot of stills taken around the UK over the past year or so. Over the years we’ve developed a style that uses a lot of black and white stills contrasting with moving colour footage.

It would be great to see readers of this blog at the premiere tonight. I will keep you all posted about screenings around the UK. You can book for tonight’s world premier here: Austerity Fight

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