First ‘serious’ film festival in Islington hailed a huge success

PUBLISHED: 11:59 10 March 2012

Director Ken Loach with MP Jeremy Corbyn at the Reel Islington Film Festival

Director Ken Loach with MP Jeremy Corbyn at the Reel Islington Film Festival


A new film festival hosted two giants of the arts world and a number of other top filmmakers last weekend.

Legendary director Ken Loach opened the inaugural Reel Islington Film Festival, themed ‘We the People’, and the closing night featured Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, after a weekend packed with screenings and workshops.

Loach’s controversial Palme d’Or winning film about the Irish War of Independence The Wind that Shakes the Barley was screened on the Friday night followed by a Q&A session. He said: “The subject [of the film] was important because of what was at stake. The conflict is under represented in film because the British don’t come across very well. It deals with the colonialist’s response to a bid for independence.”

There was also a full house at Platform, on Hornsey Road, Holloway, to view Mike Figgis’s film Battle of Orgreave, which records Jeremy Deller’s historical re-enactment of the violent 1984 conflict between police and picketing miners, featuring many of the original strikers.

Reel Islington committee member Adam Roberts said of the festival: “It’s been extraordinary. It was wonderful of Ken Loach to come along and the professionals running the workshops were exceptionally generous with their time.”

MP Jeremy Corbyn, who selected Loach’s film, said: “It’s a great achievement, great to have a serious film festival in the borough. There’s been enormous interest. I’m full of admiration.”

The festival will return next year with a new theme but until then Reel Islington hold film screenings on the first Friday of each month at the Old Fire Station, Mayton Street.

See for details.


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