A Syrian Love Story

Who is Sean McAllister?

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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.”*

WE ARE HULL artwork

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.



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We are excited to be able to let you know who our speakers are for our screening of A SYRIAN LOVE STORY, a Bath Welcomes Refugees fundraiser, on Monday 23rd January: Alaa Al Khourdajie and Sally Harris will kindly be joining us.

Sally will present an overview of Bath Welcomes Refugees (BWR) in Bath and beyond, their goals, and how to get involved for those interested.
Alaa will share the experience of two friends, his peers, and their suffering under the current Syrian regime. He will also highlight the challenge we’re facing with ever-expanding refugee crises (political, conflict, environmental) and how we plan for these logistically, as well as politically & through group mentality.

Sally Harris, an active Human-Rights campaigner, is Deputy-Chair of BWR. Alaa Al Khourdajie is a Syrian citizen currently studying for a PHD at Bath University, and a member of the BWR management committee.

Get your tickets here: https://a-syrian-love-story-popupdocs.eventbrite.co.uk



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Monday 23rd January, 8pm at the Boston Tea Party, Bath
Dir. Sean McAllister | 78min | 2015 | 12A

This next Pop Up Docs screening is a fundraiser for Bath Welcomes Refugees, get your tickets from our home page: £6 adult | £5 student | £4 unwaged/single parent | FREE refugees/carers

We hope to see many people at this screening, to raise funds and awareness too. Please do come, bring a friend, and tell your neighbours too…

£30 pays for a child’s school uniform, £100 for a pushchair: these are simple things some take for granted, which for others are essential to accessing an education or getting out of the house with the kids. When you think of what is going on across the whole country of Syria (most of the refugees in Bath are from Syria, hence the film choice) as well as the much-covered devastation of Aleppo, a school uniform or a buggy don’t seem like much to ask for, and your donations, any donation, can make a huge difference here.

Bath Welcomes Refugees is a friendly group for anyone in the area who would like to be involved with welcoming refugee families. We have invited a guest speaker to share a glimpse of life as a refugee, the experience of displacement from home, being unable to return to the place where you belong.