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Liberation Films

Liberation Films combined ‘discussion-screenings’ with participatory video projects - their working methods evidence the influence of community-led, film and video initiatives taking place in North America. These include those organized by the political filmmaking organisation the US Newsreel Collective and the work of Challenge for Change in Canada. 

A number of films made by the Newsreel Collective were first screened and distributed by members of Liberation Films in London as part of the Angry Arts festival in 1967. Motivated by what they had seen produced in the USA and the effect it had on audiences in the UK, members of the Angry Arts Film Society went on to form Liberation Films in the late 1960s.  Alongside the distribution and screening of radical and political films, they also began producing their own films, initially using 16mm film and subsequently video, as the medium became more widely available. 

The combination ofproducing and screening films of a political nature led the group to work more closely with the ‘growing grassroots movement in the community.’  This provided a method to activate discussions and identify areas of concern, with the intention of ‘encouraging participation towards social change.’  

Liberation Films member Tony Wickert describes the motivation for what became the ‘community film shows’ as follows: 

'We tried to get the people who came along to talk to each other. Our concern with the community film shows was to see whether we could get people to change their positions by dispelling prejudice and by letting them share opinions with other people. We made the audience form into groups and we, the organisers would assign ourselves to different groups and elaborate and develop views in that way.' 


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