A Community Film A-Z

WHAT IS A COMMUNITY FILM – Robert’s version …

A. Defined by the collective engagement of all participants.

B. Captures the passion of the people involved or represented.

C. Has something important to say to a world it wants to change.

D. Creates something of quality that is worthy of its participants’ efforts

E. Created by volunteers and community participants in partnership with professional film makers.

F. Happy to employ the skills of artists, crews and community agents in a supportive and empowering environment.

G. Broadly educational: building skills and confidence for individuals and the group

H. Furnishes both an end and a beginning of a community enquiry process

I. Critical, creative, reflective, respectful, diverse

J. Sensitive to ethical, ethnographic and postcolonial issues.

K. Negotiates aspects of its methodology/approach/plan of action at the outset and reconsiders it when appropriate

L. Economical with resources and sustainable

M. A media process or product that contributes to social change, empowerment and social justice.

N. A personal narrative of public value

O. A group narrative with multiple visions and voices

P. A form of advocacy for social causes

Q. An opportunity for reflection and dialogue with other communities

R. Committed to finding new ways of engagement

S. Collaborative and improvisatory

T. Embraces spontaneity and improvisation in order to transcend traditional practices and approaches

U. A way of building the social capital of the community.

V. Prepared to take risks and challenge traditions or expectations within and outside the community

W. Works alongside other modes of activism and forms of communication

X. A dialogue between creativity and critical analysis

Y. Designed to showcase democratic and inclusive processes and their outcomes

Z. Equipped to provide a body of evidence that counts as research

In Development

Crazy Days Cafe

Two writers currently writing a feature length drama. A participatory project in partnership with organisations representing users/survivors of mental health services. Current Steering Group members are CAPS (The Consultation and Advocacy Promotion Service), Dr Steve Tilley (University of Edinburgh), Lothian Health and the School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto. Crazy Days Cafe is no ordinary cafe; run by mad fold, it’s customers are mad folk – both those who like to think themselves sane and those who aren’t so sure. Based on real stories from users and survivors of the mental health system; this is an opportunity to her this funny and heart-breaking script read by professional actors. Through Crazy Days production TWS is concerned to explore ways in which the industrial processes of film production can be made accessible to cast and crew who are users and/or survivors of the mental health system.

Writers

Lucy Kaya – Lucy has an MA in screenwriting from The Screen academy Scotland and was a co writer of the award winning feature film :trouble Sleeping.” Lucy was selected for Scotland Writes (BBC new writers initiative,) the EIFF Talent Lab in 2012 and this year for Regard Croises, an international screenwriting programme

Adrienne Chalmers – Adrienne Chalmers became involved in the mental health service user movement in the early 1990s. She helped develop individual and collective advocacy in Edinburgh and beyond and was a leading campaigner for user-led crisis services. She was instrumental in the inclusion of a right of access to independent advocacy in the 2003 MH Act.

Download Programme


The Gretna Project

This stage of the Gretna project aims to involve local residents of Leith in a creative enquiry about the Gretna disaster and its relevance for the area today. The project will produce a short film encompassing historical research, interviews, and possibly some drama. On 22 May 1915 some 1,000 officers and men of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Royal Scots Guards boarded two trains to Liverpool to continue their journey on to Gallipoli, a peninsula of European Turkey. Based at the Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, they were known as ‘Leith’s Own’. Most of the men aboard the doomed second train never made it farther south than Gretna Green.

Download Flyer

The Little Lamp

‘This little lamp will shine as brightly as the heart and soul of Palestine’

 

Synopsis

Another play for children at Christmas, this story is based in the Middle East and narrates the story of a princess, Amire, and her two sisters, Shareela and Bubba. When their Father dies, Amire is made queen on condition that she brings the sun into the palace; if she fails she will be trapped in a dark box. She tries to grab the sun while it is setting but to no avail and eventually gives up. Her ambitious sister Shareela is glad of this and declares herself queen. However with the help of the Djinn and Azim, a poor man searching for oil to stop his lamp from going out, she eventually realises that it is only by tearing down the walls and letting people in with their lamps that the sun will shine in the palace. It is a story about following your dreams, having courage and breaking down barriers between rich and poor. The original play was written by Palestinian writer Ghassane Kanafani, who was killed in a car bomb attack in 1972. The Little Lamp can therefore be connected with Theatre Workshop’s commitment to exploring the issues in Palestine through drama with such plays as The Jasmine Road (2003).

Written by: Ghassane Kanafani
Directed by: Robert Rae
Designed by: Gordon Davidson
Musical Director: Tim O’Leary
Assistant Musical Director: Alan Caig Wilson
Actors: Marnie Baxter, Melanie Bradley, Karen Kirk, Tim O’Leary, Alan Caig Wilson and Nabil Shaban
Adapted by: Robert Rae
Video Artist: Ian Ferguson (Delta Video)
Performed: November ’99

Further Information

Happy Land’s Joki Wallace Interviewed

“My worst memory was not having anything. We got money to look after the bairns – I had two daughters – and milk tokens,” said Joki, (…) “It was hellish. I had to tell the building society I couldn’t pay the mortgage. They said we could square up when it was over. They probably thought it would last a fortnight – it lasted a year.”  – The Happy Land’s Joki Wallace to the Sheffield Star

Read full interview here.

Trouble Sleeping

Synopsis

In this, Theatre Workshop’s first full-length film, the company examine the everyday experience of asylum seekers in Scotland. Based primarily in Edinburgh, it follows the fortunes of a number of different individuals from the former weightlifting champion Ahmed to gay Mehti and the poetic Seham, from confident flirt, Kamal, to the caring couple, Khalid and Halla. While focusing on the attitudes of the police and the prejudices of those around them, the film also looks at the problems within the asylum seekers’ own community, the homophobia, the deep concern with what others think and the haunting, terrifying effect of torture experienced at home. The threat of deportation hangs over every scene and, despite the joyful exuberance of the party in the café and the football training, this is largely a piece that deals with the horrors of past grieves and the anguish of present circumstances. The closing scenes show Khalid discovering the truth about Halla’s past as a torture victim and the true origin of their son who is the result of a vicious rape attack in the prison where Ahmed and Kalla were incarcerated. It is a powerful, often painful image of the disintegration and the gradual, piecemeal reconstruction of individual lives. Theatre Workshop have produced a number of other pieces that focus on similar issues, most noticeably, Jasmine Road (2003) and One Hour Before Sunrise (2006). Both are written by Ghazi Hussein. Awards for Trouble Sleeping: Winner of Best New Work-Fiction at BAFTA New Talent Awards 2008. Winner of Best Feature Narrative at the Peace on Earth Film Festival 2008 Winner Best Film Rockport International Film Festival 2008 Winner Best Film and Best Actress (Alia Alzougbi) SOAPIFF 2008

Released August 2008
Length 107 mins
Written by Robert Rae and Ghazi Hussein with Jim McSharry, Roxanna Pope, Saleyha Ahsan and Lucy Kaya
Directed by Robert Rae
Designed by Laurel Wear Musical
Director Jim Sutherland
Actors Hassan Naama, Alia Alzougbi, Waseem Aboaklain, Okan Yahsi, Seham Ali, Robert Softley, Nihat Kaya, Maher Sari, Yousaf Khan Shinwary and The Theatre Workshop Community Company
Producer Eddie Dick and Helen Trew
Executive Producer Leslie Finlay and Ewan Angus
Editor Tina Hetherington
Director of Photography Iain Dodds

Further Information

Trouble Sleeping Trailer

 

In this, Theatre Workshop’s first full-length film, the company examine the everyday experience of asylum seekers in Scotland.

Based primarily in Edinburgh, it follows the fortunes of a number of different individuals from the former weightlifting champion Ahmed to gay Mehti and the poetic Seham, from confident flirt, Kamal, to the caring couple, Khalid and Halla.

Awards for Trouble Sleeping:

Winner of Best New Work-Fiction at BAFTA New Talent Awards 2008.

Winner of Best Feature Narrative at the Peace on Earth Film Festival 2008

Winner Best Film Rockport International Film Festival 2008

Winner Best Film and Best Actress (Alia Alzougbi) SOAPIFF 2008