Social Realism and the kitchen sink
“One of the most brave and powerful filmmakers around.” Michael Moore
After leaving school at 16 Sean McAllister worked in a series of low-paid low-skilled factory jobs in his hometown of Hull before finding a camera and filming his way into the National Film and Television School (NFTS), graduating in 1996. Since then he has made films for both the BBC and Channel 4; working in the UK and internationally. His candid, frank films depict with extraordinary intimacy the lives of ordinary people who are struggling to survive but who are survivors; intelligent and resourceful people caught-up in a world of political turmoil and personal conflict.
In 2005 his remarkable film ‘The Liberace Of Baghdad‘ about Iraqi pianist Samir Peter won the Special Jury Prize (World Documentary) at the Sundance Film Festival.
Sean is much more than a dispassionate fly-on-the-wall observer of other peoples lives, there is a fly-in-the-soup (Vérité) approach to his film-making, he becomes involved, he intervenes, he asks the questions which often provoke his subjects (and himself) into insights, thoughts, and realisations which they never knew they had. From his early films Working For The Enemy (1997) and The Minders (1998), Sundance Jury Prize-winning The Liberace Of Baghdad (2004) and Japan: A Story Of Love And Hate (2008) to his more recent successes, The Reluctant Revolutionary, Sheffield Jury Prize winning, BAFTA nominated A Syrian Love Story (2015), and now A Northern Soul (2018) Sean’s work continues to inspire, to surprise and to fascinate audiences. In 2017, Sean was director of the opening ceremony of the Hull City of Culture – setting the year off with record audiences: 1.5 times the city’s population attended the opening week events.
“My duty as a filmmaker is to get beyond the performance” – Sean McAllister
“Sean McAllister makes filming look easy.” – Nick Fraser