Cinema Action mobile cinema started by Ann Lamche with support of Richard Mordaunt. First screenings of French film
Develops into an informal group with a growing membership and regular meetings. Productiion based at Lusia Films. All work unwaged.
Mobile Cinema showings include Ford Dagenham, Ford Halewood, Vauxhall Ellesmere Port and a British Leyland factory.
Production of first cine tracts.
Richard Mordaunt and Schlacke Lamche film in Free Derry.
16mm. B/W. 22 mins
Documentary supporting the campaign against the attempt by the GLC, under Conservative leader Horace Cutler, to raise council rents.
16mm. B/W. 6 mins.
Documentary supporting strikers at Acton tube depot.
116mm. B/W. 8 mins.
Animation and graphics on the call by the GEC Merseyside shop stewards for factory occupation to oppose closures and redundancies.
16mm. B/W sep. mag.
Reflections by shop stewards on lessons of the failure of the campaign seen in GEC 1.
Moves to Alexandra Road.
16mm. B/W opt. 18 mins.
Documentary on the early squatters’ movement. Homeless families occupy empty properties and resist eviction by private landlords and the GLC.
16mm. B/W. Part silent, part opt. 8 mins.
Animation, stills and documentary opposing measured day work at the Vauxhall factory.
16mm. B/W. 12 mins.
Documentary on a wages dispute by members of the draughtsmans’ union, DATA, at Rolls Royce, Coventry.
16mm. B/W. 36 mins.
Documentary for the campaign against the Conservative government’s Industrial Relations Bill. Shows meetings and demonstrations and uses graphics, stills and library film to set the conflict in the context of an international struggle against capitalism and a long history of trade union struggle in Britain. The case against the bill is put by shop stewards Mike Cooley and Dick Jones from DATA, May Hobbs from T&GWU, Don Cook, Kevin Halpin and Tom Langan from AUEW.
Police raid premises after a showing of Fighting the Bill outside the Albert Hall.
Richard Mordaunt, Marc Karlin and Humphrey Trevelyan split off to form Berwick Street Collective.
Films the occupation of the Upper Clyde Shipyards (UCS).
First substantial donation from trades unions.
B/W. 23 mins.
Documentary supporting the occupation of Upper Clyde Shipyards. Includes speech by Jimmy Reid.
16mm. B/W. 33 mins.
Documentary for the National Union of Students’ campaign against proposals put forward by Margaret Thatcher when Minister for Education. Includes speech from Clive Jenkins of ASTMS and an interview with the French student leader, Alan Krevine.
16mm. B/W. 95 mins.
Documentary. An analysis and chronicle of the instance of dual power in the north of Ireland: we see the barricaded resistance zone of Free Derry in August 1969, the struggle for democracy, the right to assemble and for free expression, the contradiction between labour and capital, the struggle against imperialism, the demands: a socialist workers’ republic. (CA 1980)
16mm. B/W. 25 mins.
Documentary supporting dockers’ fight against the effects of containerisation. ‘The London dockers’ struggle to preserve their jobs against ruthless rationalisation; profiteering and land speculation, police harassment of pickets and finally the enforcement of the Industrial Relations Act with the arrest of the Pentonville 5.’ (CA 1975)
16mm. B/W. 49 mins.
Documents — from the inside and for the labour movement — the events of the miners’ strike in 1974, as part of the successful opposition against Phase 3 of the Conservative government’s incomes policy. (CA 9 April 19751 Industrial action by miners in the winter of 1973—4 helped to bring down Edward Heath’s government. The film covers this crisis but reflects the miners’ historical and political understanding of it, informed by memories of the 1926 General Strike and analysis of the failures of nationalisation and more recent energy and employment policies.
International Film Critics’ award, Oberhausen 1975.
Jury Award for Documentary, Moscow.
115 minutes – 16mm – 1975
The film, which traces the first year of the revolution in Portugal, was made by a group of French and West German journalists – the English version was assembled by cinema action.
First public project funding: £900 completion grant from BFI Production Board for The Miners’ Film.
Moves to 35a Winchester Road squat.
The Miners’ Film wins International Film Critics’ Award, Oberhausen.
First revenue funding, from GLAA.
First major public project funding: £20,000 from BFI Production Board for The Social Contract. This film is never completed, although shown unfinished at several events. Out of the project a different film develops: So That You Can Live.
Applied for ACTT membership.
16mm. B/W. 83 mins.
Documentary made with shipyard workers during the occupation and work-in at the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, July 1971 to October 1972. The yards were occupied and managed by a joint shop stewards’ committee after the government had announced the decision to liquidate the company. Scenes of organising, work, discussion, high-level negotiations, relations between the shop stewards and union officials, dealings with the press, all with a strong sense of being seen from ‘inside’. Music by 7:84 and The Laggan.
In danger of eviction from squatted premises. Successful application to Camden Council for alternative premises.
Grants: £6,500 revenue funding from BFI direct grant; £38,080 capital funding from BFI Housing the Cinema Fund (HCF) (for renovating premises).
Grants: from BFI HCF•, from GLAA.
Moves into part-rehabilitated premises, 25—27 Winchester Road.
Work on offices/cutting rooms completed.
Opens cinema at 29 Winchester Road.
16mm. Col. 85 mins. Screened on Channel Four, 1982.
Documentary filmed over five years showing the impact on one family in South Wales of developments in the national and global political economy.
Franchised as ACTT workshop.
So That You Can Live completed and opens Independent Film and Video strand on Channel Four.
Filming of Sister Suzi Cinema. Project not completed owing to rights
Capital funding: £12,178 from BFI; £22,500 from GLA.
First Channel Four workshop funding: £85,482.
Other funding: £25, 700 revenue funding from GLA; E9,189 from GLC.
16mm. B/W. 63 mins.
A reflection on the UCS occupation and subsequent political events centred round a group of workers/pensioners on a boat trip. The Miners’ Film 16mm. B/W. 65 mins.
Channel Four provides £270,000 for Rocinante, £92,250 for workshop.
Super 16mm. Col. 93 mins.
Feature drama with Ian Dury, John Hurt and Maureen Douglass.
We went in search of England and found a ‘garden of secrets’ full of tradition and myth, violence and cover-up. So, drawing on many types of narrative — traditions of the tale, the romance and the novel, and using different cinematic genres, we tried to tell a story about the common ordinary world and the world we have in common. We borrowed our title — Rocinante — from Cervantes and equipped with Don Quixote’s horse set out to tilt at reality. [CA 19861]
Awards from Berlin, Madrid and Troia film festivals.
Rocinante opens at Renoir Cinema. Six-week run.
Cinema Action writes its constitution.
Last Channel Four Workshop money.
Whitechapel (computer firm) goes bankrupt owing Cinema Action approximately £l0,000.
An Urban Fairytale 35mm. Col. 95 mins.
Feature drama with Ian Dury. ‘On the run from a couple of hit-men, young Johnny Fortune escapes from a life in basement poolrooms to become a dancing bear with the strangest Punch and Judy man in the business…; [Film Four International]
Last grant from public funds: £28,500 direct grant from BFI.
Ann and Eduardo leave for Portugal.