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A Northern Soul

Following 2015’s Doc/Fest Grand Jury Winner A Syrian Love Story, Sean McAllister returns to his hometown, Hull, as curator of its’ UK City of Culture opening. 

Back living with his 90-year-old parents and reflecting on changes to a city hit by cuts in public spending and divided by Brexit, Sean is drawn to the fringes of town where he encounters Steve Arnott – a struggling warehouse worker with a dream.

Steve is a warehouse worker by day, hip-hop artist by night. He represents a forgotten generation whose dreams haven’t been met. But Steve is also a deeply community driven optimist, who has been trying to find a way to bring creativity and culture to the disadvantaged kids of the city. Kids like he once was - kids whose opportunities to build a better life are restricted by the world around them.

As the film interweaves between Steve's story and daily struggles, and Sean's parents, their memories and echoes of the ‘good old days’, we see a proud industrial fishing town trying to reinvent itself through the spotlight that City of Culture brings.

Can Steve – against the odds – unlock the opportunities to build a better life? Is social mobility possible in cities like Hull? What role does culture have to play in this?

How long do you hold onto your dreams for?

This screening will be followed by a live Q&A with filmmaker Sean McAllister and the documentary's subject Steve Arnott

Event Information

Running Time: 1hr 13mins

BBFC Advice: 15

Director(s): Sean McAllister

Country of Origin: UK

Year of release:

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