Left Film Front - Workers' Films Today

Cambridge-based filmmaker Samuel Stevens was our Artist in Residence for 2018. We are working with Stevens on a commission for a feature film about a little-known 1930s group called the Film & Photo League: working people who took up cameras as a means to document life as it really was, as opposed to the official version of the newsreels. Stevens was in Newcastle over the summer to meet with community groups and arts organisations and uncover the League’s activities on Tyneside as part of his research for the film.


For this event, Stevens will present archival film alongside documentation of his research, with a discussion around some of the topical issues,  such as welfare rights, which link workers’ films of the 1930s with the present day.

Thursday 23 August
Tyneside Cinema (Kino)

About the artist

Samuel Stevens is a unique voice in the field of what is variously termed lyrical documentary or essay filmmaking, bringing together meticulously researched source material with creative, unorthodox narrative techniques to explore the weight of history on contemporary society. His early film Atlantropa (2009) tackled the political and social ramifications of European border politics by imagining abridge over the Straits of Gibraltar, while recent long-form work Spanish Labyrinth (2017) uses original documentary material shot by revolutionary filmmakers Yves Allégret and Eli Lotar as a starting point for a meditation contemporary ecological and political realities in Spain. Stevens was awarded a PhD in 2015 for research into the relationship between avant-garde and contemporary film practices, during which he began his four-year research into the Film and Photo League. He lives in Cambridge and teaches at the University of Westminster.