Our Festival Focus Day concludes with a special screening of Sean McAllister’s documentary, A Northern Soul (10Ft Films, 2018), an essential film for anyone wishing to understand the reality of life for many working people locked in poverty in Britain today.
Set in Hull, the film’s central protagonist, Steve Arnott, is a factory worker nurturing a long-held ambition to take hip-hop to the deprived estates of the city. His employers donate a van which is converted into a recording studio and decorated with graffiti. The Beats Bus is taken by Steve and his team of volunteers into schools with the aim of engaging disadvantaged youngsters, with the film vividly demonstrating how music and culture has the potential to transform young people’s lives.
At the same time, the film explores the everyday reality of life for many workers up and down the country, trapped by debt and low pay, unable to break free from the restrictions poverty places on them. "How long do you hold on to your dream?" Steve asks.
Join us for a festival film screening, followed by a chance to put your questions to Sean and Steve. The session is chaired by Beth Johnson, Associate Professor in Film and Media at the University of Leeds.
Our Focus Day, Poverty: How can we tell a new story to inspire change?, presented in collaboration with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, includes discussions throughout the day. Also, don’t miss the Beats Bus which will be parked in Parliament Street from 11am to 5pm.
About the speakers
Sean McAllister is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Born in Hull, he is a director and producer, known for films including A Syrian Love Story (2015), The Reluctant Revolutionary(2012) and Japan: A Story of Love and Hate (2008).His films portray, with intimacy and frankness, people from different parts of the world who are struggling to survive but are survivors, caught up in political and personal conflict, trying to make sense of the world we live in. While back in his home town as the Creative Director of the Opening Ceremony for Hull’s UK City of Culture 2017, Sean encountered Steve, a struggling warehouse worker with a dream. A Northern Soul is a documentary following Steve’s attempts to make a positive impact on his community by travelling with a hip-hop tour bus.