Cable Street Short Film


'We the Anti-Fascist - Irish, Jews, Communists and workers of Britain - must stop Mosley and his Blackshirts from marching!’

Following the short-doc I made with my wonderful grandad, Ubby Cowan, telling his story of the Battle of Cable Street, I wanted to make a more artistic version. Told from the perspective of a sketch-book obsessed kid, visiting the mural commemorating the event, the painting comes to life in his imagination. The film became about looking up, seeing the world around you, finding a voice and expressing yourself. This upload is a short clip from the middle of the piece.

Creating it was a real undertaking, with multiple animation techniques and a complex shoot. The boy is played by the talented Sami Chaoui, now a filmmaker in his own right. The 2D animation was led by the lovely Asaf Agranat, whose 'A Bus Ride with Flowers in Her Hair' will always be one of my favourite films. Compositing by the brilliant Adriano Gazza. Music by Matthew Davidson. Full credits on my website. One of the best things about the project was getting help with the script (and a quick masterclass in story-telling) from the incredible Kate Leys - an 'under the bonnet' story mechanics genius. The film won a bunch of awards, screened at a ton of international film festivals and is housed in the BFI collection.

The above clip is a short excerpt. Here's the full film: