Cinema in suburbia

The Girl in the Shed

A scene from Sophie Ansell’s ‘The Girl in the Shed’ showing as part of HERE Film Festival (credit Sarah Boezalt)

Talkies founder David Williamson introduces this year’s HERE Film Festival

Talkies Community Cinema is presenting its fifth annual HERE Suburban Film Festival at various venues in Enfield.

The festival celebrates the diversity of interests, people and places in the suburbs of London. We don’t mimic the West End, Southbank or Shoreditch – we are proud to be in the suburbs! This is where the film creatives of London produce their best output, where life is a rich tapestry of race, religion and culture. Here is where most of London lives.

We are so lucky to have such talented people around us who are prepared to talk about their work. Perhaps our proudest achievement in the festival is the short films we commission from young filmmakers. Our latest four commissions take the total to 23 films in all. Each has been shot in or around Palmers Green, probably making us the most filmed part of Enfield. Who knows, in time, perhaps Palmers Green will become the new Hollywood Hills?

Sophie Ansell, director of The Girl in the Shed, says: “The Talkies commission is an amazing opportunity for me as a new director. They provide an incentive to get going, the creative freedom to develop ideas and the support that helps make it happen. My Talkies mentor, scriptwriter Jason Sutton, has been brilliant, giving me the confidence to take a lead and create a short film that I hope will do well on the national and international festival circuit.”

Previous alumni have gone on to have wide professional success. Kate Herron, one of the 2017 filmmakers, is directing the successful new Netfix series Sex Education, and Charlotte Regan was a 2017 BAFTA nominee for ‘Best Short Film’.

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The festival programme launched with the British independent film Funny Cow in February. Introduced by a cast member, the local actor Lindsey Coulson, the film is about a female comedian (played by Maxine Peake) breaking through the glass ceiling of an all-male comedy circuit in the 1980s. Lindsey has an impressive career in TV films and dramas, including EastEnders, The Level and Bulletproof. She lives in Palmers Green and is an ambassador for Chickenshed Theatre, as well as being an acting mentor in many local schools.

Kurt Barling, a former BBC London correspondent and now Professor of Journalism at Middlesex University, hosts The Lives of Londoners at the Dugdale Centre on Thursday 21st March, using film to introduce ten Londoners whom he has met and whose experiences mark key social and political events over the past 15 years.

On Saturday 23rd March at Waterhouse Hall – on our 40th anniversary – Talkies revives the iconic 1979 film Quadrophenia, part of which was shot locally, and local musicians are forming a The Who tribute band as an introduction.

Other events include London Unplugged, hosted by director Nick Cohen and producer David Cohen, and Beast, introduced by producer Ivana MacKinnon, whose work includes Slumdog Millionaire, The Descent and The Scouting Book for Boys.

For more information about HERE Suburban Film Festival 2019:

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