Entertainment

Purbeck Film Festival to launch with miners strike movie Pride

The film runs from October 14-29, with more than 70 films at over 30 venues.

A remarkable story from the bitter 1984 miners strike, telling how a group of gay and lesbian activists supported striking miners, is to take pride of place at the start of a long-running film festival, it has been announced.

The 2014 film Pride, which tells the real life tale of how a group of gay activists in London decided to fundraise for a mining community in South Wales, is one of a number of open air screenings in this year’s Purbeck Film Festival.

Films will be shown at venues including National Trust’s Corfe Castle and Durlston Country Park, from the end of May.

The full festival, which has been running for more than a quarter of a century, is from October 14-29, with more than 70 films at over 30 venues across Purbeck.

In Pride, former Labour MP Sian James is depicted by actress Jessica Gunning as being one of the most passionate supporters of the lesbian and gay activists group’s efforts.

Ms James, who was a housewife married to a miner in the Swansea Valley when the strike began, started by volunteering to help other mining families, eventually helping feed 1,000 families a week across the Welsh valleys.

She said: “The Pride movie told the story of a very special relationship. One between two unlikely groups, the first a group of young gay and lesbian activists from London and the other, ordinary working-class people from the mining communities of the Neath, Dulais and Upper Swansea Valleys.

“It celebrates the unique connection that has been forged between those two communities, both facing the power of an oppressive Conservative government, determined to destroy us because we are different.

“We were fighting to maintain our mines, our jobs and our future, they were fighting for fairness and equality.”

Andrea Etherington, chair of the Purbeck Film Festival, said: “We are delighted with the range of films being shown this year, offering a real treat to anyone wanting to watch great cinema.”

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