Upcoming event: Lives Off the Grid

24 Aug

Lives off the grid poster - final-page-001

When: Saturday 5th September, 7pm – 10pm

Where: The Actors Temple, 13-14 Warren Street, London, W1T 5LH (directions)

How much: £5 at the door – please reserve a place here.

Join us for a unique event that explores the everyday lives of people living off the grid, featuring two brand new documentary films: Off the Grid (2015) and Life off Grid (2015).

Being off the grid in today’s fast-paced world is a challenge, it involves complete isolation from state utilities and has an enormous impact upon people’s lives. These two films explore both those who pursue this lifestyle and those who have no alternative to it in two different communities across the world. Off the Grid is as short documentary by Meghna Gupta and Raihana Ferdous set on the remote island of Sandwip in Bangladesh. The film documents the arrival of solar energy to the community and the impact it has on everyday life. Life Off Grid is a film by Jonathan Taggart and Phillip Vannini about people who have chosen to build their lives around renewable energy in Canada, with beautiful, inspiring, and often challenging results.

The event will include short talks and a panel discussion by the film makers. Phillip Vannini is a world-renowned ethnographer, Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Public Ethnography, and a Professor at Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada. Raihana Ferdous is a PhD student in the geography department at Durham University who researchers the growth of solar energy in Bangladesh and the impact on everyday lives. Meghna Gupta is the film director behind Off the Grid.

Facebook event page can be found here.

Reserve your place here.

Upcoming event: ‘Cities of Void’ and the apocalypse in film

30 Jul


When: Tuesday August 11th, 7PM-10PM.

Where: JetLag Bar, W1T 6QB London (directions)

How much: £5 at the door – no reservation required.

This screening event focuses on an emerging cultural interest in post-apocalyptic space across literature, film, video gaming and academic scholarship. This growing interest is developed in the light of climate change and current economic crises.

The fascination with the dystopian is looked at through the lens of two videos shedding different light on the meaning of the apocalyptic. The first is the 1971 science-fiction feature The Omega Man (directed by Boris Sagal) which follows an immune scientist as he fights his way through deserted Los Angeles after it has been struck by a biological warfare.

The second, the award-winning typographic short film Apocalypse Rhyme (2014) by visual artist Oliver Harrison, reveals an already-present and slowly-evolving state of apocalypse.

The two films will be followed by a panel discussion discussing the complex relationship between the human and non-human unfolding in imagined and lived apocalyptic scenarios. This multi-disciplinary panel will consist of the director of the featured short Oliver Harrison, Paul Dobraszczyk (lecturer in Art History, University of Manchester) and Emma Fraser (PhD Researcher, University of Manchester).

Facebook event page can be found here.



15th July – ‘Dis/Locations’ event on changing experiences of East London

6 Jul

dis-locations poster1-page-001

We are delighted to be collaborating with LIVINGMAPS and A-Team Arts on Wednesday the 15th of July for a unique event of film and discussion, reflecting on the changing cultural landscapes and lived experiences that are ‘East London’. 

The evening reflects on poetry, song and music as the preservers of place-memory; and focuses on economic change, the architecture of the urban landscape, regeneration and belonging through a mix of creative and documentary footage, archive and spoken word to create a multisensory quality of place-experience.

The ‘Dis/Locations’ programme will include three shorts: ‘Hackney Lullabies’ (2011) by director Kyoko Miyake, Robey (2014) by Craig Bilham & Owen Davey (video-strolls.com) and ‘Robin Hood Gardens: Requiem for a Dream’ (2014) directed by James English. The feature film ‘Under the Cranes’ (2011) will be presented by director Emma-Louise Williams (film-maker, radio-producer) and script-writer Michael Rosen (poet, broadcaster and author). Presenters Emma-Louise Williams, Michael Rosen, Owen Davey (psycho-geographer, curator and film-maker) and Tom Wilkinson (writer and presenter of Robin Hood Gardens’ and History Editor of The Architectural Review) will be joined by other guests for a concluding panel discussion.

This is promising to be a fascinating evening so we are looking forward to seeing you all there.

Where – Brady Arts & Community Centre: 192-196 Hanbury St, London E1 5HU
When – Wednesday 15th July, 6PM – 9PM.

Tickets are £6 (concessions available) – http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/special-screening-event-dislocations-featuring-under-the-cranes-tickets-17207985548
– Passengerfilms team

Upcoming Event! Materials of Madness, June 23rd.

1 Jun


Our next event on June 23rd seeks to explore the materialities of mental illness. The event features David Cronenberg’s psychological thriller Spider (2002), staring Ralph Fiennes and Miranda Richardson. The film reveals the intricate and confusing webs of bodies, objects and place which can be symptomatic of schizophrenia, blurring the line between fact and fiction and shattering both mind and body.

The event will include short talks and a panel discussion including Dr. Andrea Sabbadini, a practising psychoanalyst who is also Director of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival, Prof Steve Pile, professor of Human Geography at the Open University and co-editor of Psychoanalytic Geographies (2014), Dr Felicity Callard (Durham), Reader in Social Science and Medical Humanities and Director of Hubbub (The Hub at Wellcome Collection), and Michael J. Flexer, PhD Candidate at the Leeds University Centre for Medical Humanities, studying cross-disciplinary representations of schizophrenia.

The event is £5 on the door and begins at 6.30

The venue is:

Jetlag Bar, 125 Cleveland Street,

W1T 6QB London, United Kingdom

(View map here)

Upcoming screening event: Bordering Strangeness

21 Mar


Our upcoming film screening event looks at the ways in which the manifestation of borders and the construction of the ‘stranger’ are intimately linked. Both physical and virtual boundaries, often of a dynamic nature, continue to rise, drawing lines between belonging and unbelonging, between secure and unsecure. The complex effects of contemporary borders are looked at through the lens of two films. The thrilling Children of Men (2006) by film director Alfonso Cuarón, set in 2027, tells the story of an authoritarian Britain constructing borders to tighten security in attempt to fight the threatening extinction of the human race and to respond to rising fears of ‘strangers’.

The second screening of the award-winning short film As he Lay Falling (2014) follows a Greek migrant on his challenging journey to build his own future in the Scottish Highland.

Following the two films, the director and screen writer of the featured short, Ian Waugh, will join a multidisciplinary panel with Agnes Woolley (lecturer in Contemporary Literature, Department of English, Royal Holloway) and Elizabeth Alexander (PhD researcher in Political Geography and Nationalism, Royal Holloway). The discussion will consider how film speaks to the connections between borders and strangers, and how film itself can traverse borders or even create strangeness itself.

This is a free event – no registration needed – taking place at 7PM on the 2nd of April at Jetlag Bar, 125 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, W1t 6QB (see map).

Hoping to see you all there!

Creating Hackney as Home

17 Mar
The Creating Hackney as Home audience (Photo: Ella Harris).

The Creating Hackney as Home audience (Photo: Ella Harris).

London is a city of constant change. At the moment, you would be hard pushed to find a run-down or poor area that isn’t going through a process of rapid gentrification and development, and Dalston in Hackney is no exception.  There are constant debates in the media and online about this process, but how young people feel about these changes are often overlooked. The Creating Hackney as Home, a youth-led visual research project into home and belonging at the Open University, aimed to rectify that. 5 young people from Dalston were given training in research methods and film making, and each produced a short film about Dalston as their home as part of the project.

These films were shown at the Creating Hackney as Home event on the 5th of March at the Russet in Hackney, alongside Legacy in the Dust, a documentary by local film maker Winstan Whitter about the Four Aces, a club in Dalston that survived for half a century before being knocked down as part of Hackney’s transformation for the Olympics. Two of the Creating Hackney as Home film makers and Winstan Whitter were there to discuss their films with a large and varied audience, including representatives from Hackney council.

Two of the Creating Hackney as Home film makers with Luke Dickens, one of the organisers of the project (Photo: Ella Harris).

Two of the Creating Hackney as Home film makers with Luke Dickens, one of the organisers of the project (Photo: Ella Harris).

The Creating Hackney as Home films were fantastic. Each one took a different approach to thinking about Dalston as the place where they grew up, ranging from fashion to basketball. The films, and the discussion afterwards, were eloquent, intelligent and thought-provoking. One of the main points to come out of the discussion is that young people have plenty of opinions and things to say, they just need the opportunity to have their voice heard and the films proved it.

Legacy in the Dust is also a wonderful film. Winstan Whitter has made a nostalgic tribute to a club that he has known since childhood. The Four Aces Club was such a big part of the London music scene that its story is also the story of black music in Britain. It complemented the Creating Hackney as Home films well, speaking to the themes of belonging, home, and transformation.

Winstan Whitter answers questions about his documentary 'Legacy in the Dust' (Photo: Ella Harris).

Winstan Whitter answers questions about his documentary ‘Legacy in the Dust’ (Photo: Ella Harris).

It’s not often that Passengerfilms takes a trip out of central London, but the Creating Hackney as Home event was well worth it. It was an evening that proved the importance of self-reflection for communities that are changing rapidly, and demonstrated the dynamism and creativity of London’s young people, a resource that we would be foolish to waste.

Thursday 5th March: Creating Hackney as Home

25 Feb


Please join us for our next exciting Passengerfilms screening on the 5th of March, organised in collaboration with OpenSpace Research Centre at the Open University!

The peer researchers on the Creating Hackney as Home project spent the summer of 2013 creating five short films that capture their experiences of living in a rapidly changing London borough. From journeys through and across the city come explorations of the impact of gentrification and the history of style, as well as reflections on growing up and out of space and managing everyday cultural diversity. The screening will include a chance to hear from the research team about the production process.

This will be followed by a rare screening of Winstan Whitter’s provocative ‘Legacy in the Dust’ (2008), a film about the legendary Four Aces Club in Dalston prior to its demolition. Winstan will be joining us on the night to discuss his film and the motivations behind his long-term documentary work in Hackney.

This is a free event taking place on March the 5th (kick-off at 6.30pm) at The Russet in Hackney (London E8 2BT – click here for directions).Please write to jan.smith@open.ac.uk to register for your free ticket!

We are looking forward to seeing you all there!


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