Film in running for an award

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A film made by people who lived through the miners’ strike and the Northern Film School has been shortlisted for an award.

‘Coke Not Coal’, written by ex-miner and poet Tony Goodwin, has made the final cut for the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) 2017 Research in Film Awards in the Innovation Award category.

The film, which stars Barrie Rutter, was made by South Yorkshire residents who experienced the miners’ strike of 1984 - 1985, in collaboration with the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University.

It revisits the day of Margaret Thatcher’s state funeral and the way it was celebrated by residents of the fictional ‘Oldthorpe’ - and uses the event to reflect on the current landscape of the lost mining communities.

Mr Goodwin said: “I draw very much from my life experiences, being a working class man, boy, and former coalface worker. The film was written one Saturday night, and I originally intended it to be a radio play.”

‘Coke Not Coal’ is one of eight short films collectively named ‘Mining the Memories’, produced by teams of South Yorkshire residents with students, graduates and staff at the Northern Film School in 2016.

The Mining the Memories series formed part of the CINAGE project, which began in 2013.

Jennifer Granville, principal lecturer in the Northern Film School and CINAGE project leader, said: “Being nominated for this AHRC Award for ‘Coke Not Coal’ is very exciting for all of us who were involved in the project, as all the individual films were developed out of experimental, collaborative methodologies and the success of one film is truly a success for them all.”