Launch of Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival & Call For Entries

The Topluddle Radical Film Festival launches today with an open call for submissions to the Small Axe Radical Short Film Awards.

Filmmakers from around the world are expected to enter this exciting new competition which marks an historic moment in British radical film culture.

Submissions are invited for films of all genres up to 30 minutes duration with the one requirement – that they must contribute to a radical agenda for progressive social change. There are categories for Students and Activist filmmakers of all backgrounds.
Full details on the website:

The Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival will take place in the Vintage Mobile Cinema bus in association with the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, which is itself one of the most important events in the calander of the British trade union movement.

Why start another festival?

Citizen journalists, video activists, YouTube memes, adbusters, culture jammers, subvertising, one thing is for sure in political film, like everything else, – The Times They Are A Changin’!

This festival is part of an exciting new wave of social activism in the British Film world. The last major wave of political filmaking in Britain happened in the 1980’s with the cooperative movement, Channel 4 and the IFA. But much has changed since then.

Near universal access to the medium and distribution of film on the internet is changing the world. As the festival rrogrammer Chris Jury puts it,
“Such a communications revolution has not been been witnessed since the invention of the printing press and the spread of mass literacy. The social and political power of this is only just becoming evident as we witness the so-called Twitter Revolutions of the Arab Spring and the rapid spreading of activist creative film ‘memes’ across the world through Facebook, Twitter and emerging social media forums.”

But is it enough for us all to be uploading videos to the web? Reuben Irving, the Small Axe Competition programmer says,
“For progressive social change to happen, real people in the real world need to meet face to face and work together. Since the birth of the Cinema the act of watching a film together has been an iconic embodiement of shared cultural experience. This is a chance for activists to meet and celebrate each others work, to give it the tangible value it desreves.”

The festival is supported by veteran filmmaker Ken Loach who says,
“I strongly support the idea of a Radical Film Festival at Tolpuddle. Films can bring in new ideas, new perspectives, new voices. As trade unionists we urgently need to re-examine our attitude to the existing parties. We need real political representation and to re-discover our militancy. Films that reflect struggles of working people can be a spur to action”

For us at the Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival, “Radical” means political, it means angry, it means original, rebellious, unusual, subversive, militant and above all inspiring!

Who’s Behind It?

Festival Director & Main Festival Programmer: Chris Jury

Festival Director & Small Axe Programmer: Reuben Irving

Chris Jury is Artistic Director of Public Domain Productions, the company organising the Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival. In another life Chris was an actor best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy He subsequently became a TV writer & director directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders and writing numerous episodes of TV shows such as Casualty, The Bill & Holby. He was Artistic Director of The Blockley Millennium Mystery Plays He currently writes political plays along with the political philosophy blog I Am Not A Number

Reuben Irving is a senior lecturer at the University of Worcester. He has worked in commercial film as an editor of documentary and fiction. He has also worked in community filmaking with a diverse range of groups around the country as well as running the Gorilla Cinema mobile solar powered cinema (est. 2000). He was previously a co-director of the Films4Lives human rights film awards.

Chris & Reuben are founder members of The Radical Film Network (RFN) established in September 2013 at a meeting of academics, filmmakers and comentators from all over the UK that was called by Steve Presence who with colleagues and students at the University of the West of England had founded the Bristol Radical Film Festival in 2012. Modelled on the Independent Filmmakers Association (1974-90), the RFN has been founded as a national organisation to connect together funding bodies such as C4, the BBC and the BFI with intitiatives such as The Bristol & Tolpuddle Radical Film Festivals and the legion of small companies and individual activist film makers who are creating an alternative to the Neoliberal mainstream media that seems unable to engage with the political, economic and environmental crises we currently face.

Both Reuben Irving and Chris Jury are available for interviews
Reuben Irving – 01905 855295
Chris Jury: – 07850651803

Further Information
Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival :
Small Axe Radical Short Film Awards:
Vintage Mobile Cinema:
Kick Starter Campaign:

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