Sean McAllister follows up A Syrian Love Story with an eye-opening look at his hometown of Hull
“A Northern Soul is about individuals and aspirations but it also becomes a film that speaks of poverty, class, a Britain in transition and what hope there is of a better future. That might feel like a tall order but McAllister delivers with confidence in his material and the conviction that ordinary lives matter.” – Allan Hunter
Class and chance collide in Sean McAllister’s brilliant Sheffield Doc/Fest opening film, as young performers are guided through their home’s transformational year as UK city of culture
A Northern Soul functions brilliantly on both a political and emotional level. At no point is anyone patronised or pitied, and much of British TV and film could learn a lot from how McAllister makes films about poverty and working-class characters. This film may not be the most beautiful looking or sounding film, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a personal cry for social mobility of the kind McAllister himself benefited from, and a demonstration that given an opportunity, northern working-class people can and will make and engage in culture for themselves.
Hull-born film maker Sean McAllister opens next month’s Sheffield Doc/Fest with a documentary inspired by his home city.
Daniel Dylan Wray talked to him. From Iraq to Japan to Syria, Sean McAllister’s documentaries have taken him all over the world. His BAFTA-nominated 2015 film, A Syrian Love Story, even landed him temporarily in jail after his cameras and anti-government subjects gained the attention of the police. However, despite exploring various subjects across the globe, there is one place that McAllister has returned to time and time again: Hull.
*This video is in Arabic… The interview with Sean McAllister begins at approx 9:45mins
الحلقه 4 برنامج سينما بلا حدود – مهرجان دبي السينمائي 2015 (( تغطية قروب الريم الفني ))برنامج سينما بلا حدودمهرجان دبي السينمائي 2015 (( تغطية قروب الريم الفني ))اعداد عصام بغداديتقديمطلال الكاسبمونتاجفواز بسوميالرفع على اليوتيوب والاشراف عبدالله التميمياخراجطلال الكاسب
So what makes a story good enough to leave the pages of a book, to take the conversations of ordinary people from reality to film? We spoke to the two directors to get their insights on the process of filmmaking.
Matt Brown is the director of The Man Who Knew Infinity starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons. The film tells the real story of mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. From living in poverty in Madras, India, he earns admittance to Cambridge University during WWI where he becomes a pioneer in mathematical theories with the guidance of his professor, G.H. Hardy. The story analyses relationship between Ramanujan and Hardy and their different viewpoints of the world.
Sean McAllister is a documentary film maker whose latest film A Syrian Love Story has been getting much acclaim. Filmed over 5 years, the story charts the compelling relationship of Ragahd and Amir who met in prison and fell in love. Sean guides the viewers through their story as the Syrian revolution is on the brink of eruption while the family escapes to Europe and their marriage, family and love is tested to its limits.
Labour of love: Director Sean McAllister reveals heartache behind A Syrian Love Story
In 2009, British filmmaker Sean McAllister planned to shoot a documentary about revolutionary stirrings in Syria, at a time before most his countrymen had heard of – or cared about – what was happening in Damascus.
But after six years of filming, what he ended up with was A Syrian Love Story, a candid record of the experiences of a couple and their children as the civil war erupted and they became refugees in Europe. The couple, Amer Daoud and Raghda Hassan, at first are very much in love but are slowly torn apart as they are haunted by memories from a homeland they can’t forget.
A Syrian Love Story director Sean McAllister and protagonist Amer Daoud are questioned (by Ersin) about their film whilst on a boat on a canal in Amsterdam for the third episode of a series called The Road To IDFA
A Syrian Love Story has won the coveted Grand Jury award at the Sheffield Doc/Fest… Grand Jury member Ruby Chen said: “The Jury were enamoured by this Bergmanesque portrait of a relationship and love, taking place against an ever-changing and tumultuous backdrop. Delivering unusual gender portraits it explores vulnerabilities, looking at the concept of belonging, providing a unique and intimate portrait of disillusionment.”