Sean McAllister wins at Sundance
Sean McAllister: Documentary filmmaker
"One of the most brave and powerful filmmakers around" [Michael Moore, Traverse City Film Festival]
After leaving school at 16 Sean worked in and out of factories before finding a
camera and filming his way into the National Film School. He graduated in 1996.
Since 1996 Sean McAllister has made films for both the BBC
and Channel 4; working in the UK, Israel, Iraq, Japan, and most recently Syria, and The Yemen. In 2005 his film 'The Liberace Of Baghdad' (about Iraqi pianist Samir Peter) won the Special Jury Prize (World Documentary) at the Sundance Film Festival.
Sean's films portray, with characteristic 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.
From his early films Working For The Enemy (1997) and The Minders (1998), both nominated for a Royal Television Society Awards, to his more recent successes, Sundance Jury Prize-winning The Liberace Of Baghdad (2004), Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate (2008), and this year's (2012) film The Reluctant Revolutionary' Sean's work continues to inspire, to surprise and to fascinate audiences.
Sean is currently filming across the UK, and in the Middle-East.
The Reluctant Revolutionary
The Reluctant Revolutionary' received its television première on Monday 19th March (2012) as part of the 'Storyville' strand on (UK) BBC Four. The Hollywood Reporter said; "A breathless pace, a sense of black humor and a great central character make The Reluctant Revolutionary one of the most immediate and accessible descriptions of the Arab Spring yet to emerge."
"The great thing about Sean's films is that he
champions the characters in his documentaries, he always takes a loser
and makes them a winner." - D A Pennebaker
"I made the first film to escape from the factory. I had got the story there. I sent
it to Bournemouth cinema school. They admitted me on the spot and wanted to make the film.
They offered a whole crew with cranks and all. I refused. They insisted.
I left and went back to the factory with a camera in my bag. I would film
whenever the supervisor was out of sight. I would get my camera out.
The supervisor would clock me and shout. I once shot him as he
was screaming at me, it was then that I understood what makes drama." - Sean McAllister
"My duty as a filmmaker is to get beyond the performance" - Sean McAllister
"I get as close as I can... I pull the trigger"
- Sean McAllister
"Sean made us feel like we were in a gang, conspiring, making the film together, but he never let us see what he had filmed in case it turned us into performers... It was just us and him, talking about stuff, secrets, just us and that bloody camera, probing, provoking, devouring, he made us question ourselves; we made him question himself... Only the lone cameraman can do what he does - a fully armed crew with boxes and lights and bags and cases wouldn't have got through my front door, literally and metaphorically." - Kevin Rudeforth (Working For The Enemy)
"Thanks for making this film. We need more documentaries like this because they are showing us the things that our news isn't." - Aileen Quigley
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