The curtain rises on the first North West Labour Film ...

The curtain rises on the first North West Labour Film Festival

26 September 2016

The first ever North West Labour Film Festival will take place in Liverpool at the Picturehouse (FACT) and the Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo, Crosby this October.
The festival runs from Thursday 6 October to Sunday 9 October inclusive and will showcase eight films. The opening night will feature a special release screening of Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake. The film’s producer Rebecca O’Brien and leading actress Hayley Squires will host a question and answer session both before this special screening and at the school screening the following day.

On Saturday 8 October, journalist and former Channel 4 economics editor Paul Mason will be joined by blacklisted workers for a group discussion about Trumbo, the Oscar-nominated film starring Bryan Cranston.  

The festival’s director Anna Burton said: “We are delighted to be launching this first North West Labour Film Festival in Liverpool.

“Our films highlight the on-going struggles and lives of workers - from workplace dignity and justice in Silkwood, to the drive for profits in this global market at the expense of workers’ rights and safety in The 33. Then there is the powerful story of people battling the inhumane welfare system in I, Daniel Blake.

“At a time of zero hours contracts and attacks on living standards these films also highlight many of the injustices that workers face today.

“This great line up at this year’s festival coincides with the World Day for Decent Work, a global initiative mobilising trade unions from all over the world around the struggle for decent work taking place on Friday 7 October.

“We hope you will join us at the Picturehouse and the Plaza Community Cinemas for an intimate celebration of working class life on the big screen.”

The films in the festival programme include:

Thursday 6 October

I, Daniel Blake – special release screening
The latest film from Ken Loach dramatises the struggle of Daniel, a Newcastle joiner being forced to look for work despite having a heart condition and Katie, a single mother relocated to a hostel in the north east of England by the state.

7 Chinese Brothers – film premiere
The title of this immersion in the anarchistic work life of Larry (Jason Schwartzman) is based on a Chinese fable about brothers rescuing a sibling, but no one can save Larry, especially from himself. Jason Schwartzman portrays a rebellious low paid worker, a great film for the era of zero hour contracts.

Friday 7 October

I, Daniel Blake – school screening

Mining Poems or Odes
Robert Fullerton is a force. Welder turned poet or poet turned welder? It doesn’t much matter in this evocation of his life and philosophy, and the forces that helped make him a mesmerising artist. “There she sits, majestic / He stands by engineering” begins his first poem, as he reminisces about being a 17-year old apprentice in Glasgow’s shipyards. Self-educated, and proud of listening to his mentor Archie (‘a big voice’), who commanded him to read Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, which, like Das Kapital, tells how workers “gift” the profits of their labor to capitalists. A film about work and poetry.

Where To Invade Next
A love story with Where To Invade Next, uncovering progressive ideas to import to the USA, from Italian working hours to Norwegian prisons. After which Angela Rayner, shadow education minister, Julie Ward, MEP for the North West and Lynne Collins, North West TUC regional secretary will take part in a Q&A session.

The Judgement – film premiere
The Judgement sees an ex-military man agree to illegally smuggle Syrian refugees.

Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October

The 33
Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days. Featuring A-List stars Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche, this story of survival against the odds will be accompanied by a special Chilean drinks event and a discussion between Chilean and mining representatives. It is also one of several films directed by a woman or featuring a strong female lead, as is Operator, a brilliant BAFTA winning short film backed by the Fire Brigades Union.

Dalton Trumbo, a top Hollywood screenwriter, who ran afoul of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 947, where he was jailed for 11 months for refusing to testify.

Based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, the union activist who mysteriously died as she prepared to expose health and safety problems in the nuclear power industry - featuring Meryl Streep.

A full list of films and locations can be accessed via

To book tickets contact:
Picturehouse (FACT) at
The Plaza Community Cinema call 0151 928 1530

For more information please contact North West film festival director Anna Burton on 07768 693972.
Twitter: @LabourFilmFest
Facebook: /NorthWestLabourFilmFest

Twitter: @unitetheunion
Facebook: unitetheunion1

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.