From working in a pea factory to detention in Syria and curating Arts & Culture, McAllister brings more than your average Film Director…
Sean McAllister is joining tomorrow’s POP UP DOCS screening of A SYRIAN LOVE STORY, his multi-award winning documentary from 2015. We are really excited for this opportunity to talk with him about this story of love and revolution, documenting Raghda, Amer and their family’s efforts towards political freedom, filmed over a period of 5 years.
Most recently, McAllister was invited to curate MADE IN HULL, an enormous celebration of his native city for the opening of Hull’s year as 2017 UK City of Culture. Among other eclectic subjects: industry, fishing, clubbing and caravans were presented as a visual arts festival 1-7 Jan 2017 with a walking trail, artworks, projections and soundpieces.
“This seems a departure from your international documentaries or studies of Hull’s working classes…
I wanted to say no when I was offered it, but it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you can’t walk away from, and it opened my eyes to a different way of working, with a huge team, delegating a lot of the ideas. Our aim was to make the working-class population, 280,000 people, feel involved, because those people don’t naturally feel involved in what is called art or culture. Having worked in factories and come from that culture myself, I don’t naturally feel that is my world either.”*
Since his first film WORKING FOR THE ENEMY Sean McAllister has won many awards and received much high praise for his work. A SYRIAN LOVE STORY was awarded the Grand Jury Award at Sheffield Doc Fest, the Special Jury Award at Biogram Festival and rated 3rd best film of 2015 by Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian, all in 2015.
*Nick Curtis interview of Sean McAllister, 1st Jan 2017 https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/01/sean-mcallister-made-in-hull-city-of-culture.