Last night the Homeless Film Festival came to Brighton. The three time Sundance Film winner Dark Days was shown at The Emporium. Dark Days documents people living in an abandoned section of the New York City underground railway system, the abandoned place is named the Freedom Tunnel. Marc Singer, a British filmmaker decided to make a documentary on these inhabitants to help them financially and saw it as an opportunity to get them better accommodation. The idea came to Singer when he decided to live with them in the tunnels. Somebody joked that there should be a film about them, which is when Singer decided he, and the other inhabitants, should be the ones to do it. The inhabitants were evicted from the tunnels and put in public housing, all of which is captured on film. The documentary has received mass critical acclaim, and as mentioned above, won three awards from Sundance. The screening of the film shown yesterday was followed by a post-film talk with special guests, including the Living Rent Campaign, who are working with the Homeless Film Festival.
The Homeless Film Festival is the first of its kind, and is dedicated to confronting and presenting issues of homelessness in a unique way. As well as raising awareness through the film festival, the charity directors also run filmmaking workshops for homeless people across the UK, giving them a chance to take part in free filmmaking and art projects all year round. The Homeless Festival is taking place across the UK, and we are very lucky to have Brighton take part. Paula Moore, The Co-Director, said: “Homeless Film Festival represents issues from a worldwide international perspective. The tour covers the UK but our content and work is worldwide and film submissions come from all over the world. We want to use film as a way to raise awareness of this chronic worldwide issue.” The Giving Times reports.
Don’t worry if you feel you missed out yesterday, there is another event on the fifth that is taking place on a houseboat called Verda which is moored at Shoreham-By-Sea. The film, Those Who Feel the Fire Burning is about refugees trying to enter Europe illegally on a boat, when a storm appears and knocks an elderly man overboard. The film is then told form the man’s perspective as his soul follows the everyday reality for many refugees. Whilst this is happening, he questions the meaning of his existence. Though it was released in 2014 we can all agree that it is even more relevant now. The film blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction and has received extremely positive reviews. If you want to find out more information about the event, and the Homeless Film Festival head to their website.