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.
You can read the full review in our reviews section.
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.
Read the full article on the Yorkshire Post website.
Pre-Order A Syrian Love Story
If you have iTunes you can now ‘preview, buy and download’ A Syrian Love Story, which is good.
Sean joins Charles Adler on SiriusXM 167 to discuss his BAFTA nominated documentary A Syrian Love Story.
A Syrian Love Story has been nominated for ‘Outstanding Debut’ at the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) to be held on Sunday 14 February at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD, preceded by a red carpet show on BBC Three. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.
See the full BAFTA nomination list.
The Guardian: The 50 best films of 2015 in the UK – No 3: A Syrian Love Story
Continuing our countdown of the best movies released in the UK this year, we applaud the heartbreaking story of a couple whose relationship disintegrates as they flee the horrors of Syria
The tragic urgency of Sean McAllister’s superlative documentary A Syrian Love Story has been renewed by events, now that the British Parliament has given the go-ahead for RAF Tornadoes to join bombing raids on Isis positions in Syria. How many refugees will be created by this? Will the UK be liable to take in more refugees in proportion to our participation in bombing? This is the new political context for McAllister’s uniquely powerful film.
See the full article by Peter Bradshaw on The Guardian website
Directors Matt Brown, Sean McAllister talk films
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.
See the full article on the City Times website
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.
Read the full article on the www.thenational.ae website
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
Syria: A Portrait of a Marriage
“We bring you the turbulent story of two political activists in Syria. They fell in love in prison, married and had children. But living under war and repression eventually tore their marriage apart. They are the subject of a new film by the award-winning British documentary maker Sean McAllister. He has been making films about the Arab world for over 20 years. In 2009 – two years before the start of the uprising in Syria – he went to Damascus to find subjects for a new project.”
Listen to Sean and Amer discussing the background to and filming of A Syrian Love Story on BBC World Service, Outlook – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p032r306