Tag: Hull

A Northern Soul

A Northern Soul functions brilliantly on both a political and emotional level

A Northern Soul is a great work of radical empathy, in which the economic difficulties of the city and the contradictions of regeneration through culture are visible alongside a testament to the charm and strength of personality of the city’s residents…. This is not a story we see enough, despite the heritage of British documentary in this space – a deeply explored character journey through poverty in which those affected tell their own stories with dignity and respect. We don’t see it enough because there aren’t many other film-makers like McAllister…” – © The Guardian

Sean McAllister

To read more about Sean McAllister and his films please visit

St Sean, on the road to Damascus

15 July 2009

Bollocks. The BBC just cancelled the ‘North’ season that had brought me back to Hull looking for ideas. Actually I’m relieved… I am now in Sofia waiting for a Syrian visa so I can take my own ‘road to Damascus’.

I am looking for the conversion that changed St Paul on his road. I want to find a film there and the strength to persuade the BBC to accept an idea which they rejected back in December 2008.

I’d opted for their (dual) offer of two films, one in Hull, and one in Libya but now I really doubt whether I can get the access I would need to make a film there (Libya, not Hull).

Furthermore I’ve no real idea why I want to make a film in Syria I just see a fantastic colourful film set in Damascus full of fun fear and freedom. A place where contradictions play themselves out in widescreen. Stupid things like democracy versus dictatorship. A place where thousands of Iraqis apparently have fled their new found freedom for the ‘safety’ of a dictatorship, where partying hard at the weekend is seemingly as important as the Friday call for prayer.

Sounds amazing to me but sadly not the BBC. Not yet anyway. So on the road I go.