Showcasing local filmmakers

David Williamson from Talkies Community Cinema introduces the long-awaited premiere of its 2020 short film commissions

A still from Lucky, a comedy written by Alex Cooper
A still from Lucky, a comedy written by Alex Cooper

In March 2020, we at Talkies Community Cinema were a few days away from screening our latest set of short films shot in and around Palmers Green. Then the pandemic hit and we all went into lockdown.

Twenty months later, we’re now ready to resume where we left off, with a premiere of the Talkies short film commissions taking place this month at St John’s Hall.

It’s been a long wait, but we’re delighted to showcase the work of six talented young filmmakers who created their short films in various places around Palmers Green. They include stories about betting shops, sewing machines, weddings, cappuccinos, loneliness and even our first music video!

For the past six years, Talkies has given emerging filmmakers funds towards the production of short films in Palmers Green. All the films explore the texture, diversity and sometimes the quirkiness of life in the suburbs.

Filmmaker Kate Braithwaite is one of those we are showcasing in November, with her and Sean Lerwill’s documentary Coffee Culture exploring the phenomena of socialising around coffee. She said of the experience: “Talkies short film commissions are an amazing opportunity for emerging directors. As well as the financial support, Talkies also gives valuable advice on locations, sorts extras from their audience, finds a crew base, and has a selection of experienced professionals for mentoring.

“The premiere screening is also a great chance to get a first reaction to your work.”

Another film we will be featuring this month is Sarah Boezalt’s documentary film Bookies, which explores different perspectives of betting shop culture within a community. Included in the film is her nan, who has since passed away, talking about her time managing a betting shop. The film stimulates discussion about high street gambling, such as the recently opened Mekur Slots, which has caused controversy locally.

The other short films being showcased this month are Sew, from director Xenia Glen, a documentary about a mail-order bride who moved from the Philippines to England in the 1980s, only to end up running her own mail-order bride agency; Guide me Home, by Stefan Georgiou, which offers a portrait of David, a lonely man desperately interested in human interaction who slips through the cracks in life; Jilted, from Dan Hodgson, which tells the story of a bride who has second thoughts on her wedding day; and Lucky, a comedy written by Alex Cooper in which a widower is followed around by a masked man with a French horn.

In total, Talkies Community Cinema has now commissioned 30 films by emerging filmmakers. The commissions, which take place annually, are open to all filmmakers, of any style or experience.

The Talkies premiere of short film commissions will be shown at St John’s Hall in Bourne Hill, Palmers Green, on Saturday 13th November from 7pm. Tickets (for £6.50) must be pre-booked via the Talkies website:
Visit talkies.org.uk/events