“I made the first film to escape from the factory. I had got the story there. I sent it to Bournemouth cinema school. They admitted me on the spot and wanted to make the film. They offered a whole crew with cranks and all. I refused. They insisted. I left and went back to the factory with a camera in my bag. I would film whenever the supervisor was out of sight. I would get my camera out. The supervisor would clock me and shout. I once shot him as he was screaming at me, it was then that I understood what makes drama.” – Sean McAllister
Since 1996 Sean McAllister has made films for both the BBC and Channel 4; working in the UK, Israel, Iraq, Japan, The Yemen, and most recently Syria (whilst filming A Syrian Love Story) where he was picked-up by the security forces and held for 6 days before being deported back to the UK. His films are intimate portraits of people from different parts of the world who are survivors; caught up in political and personal conflict struggling to make sense of the world we live in.
From Working for the Enemy in 1997 to The Reluctant Revolutionary in 2012 his absorbing films have received prestigious nominations and awards – including from the Grierson Trust, the Sundance Film Festival, the Florence Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). Sean McAllister’s filmmaking success is a triumph for anti-apathy – a triumph for himself and for the people he puts on screen.
“The great thing about Sean’s films is that he champions the characters in his documentaries, he always takes a loser and makes them a winner.” – D A Pennebaker
“Sean McAllister makes filming look easy” – Nick Fraser, BBC Commissioning Editor
Read more about Sean McAllister on his website at seanmcallister.com