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Issue:- 17 April 2014

Feature film produced by the community of Liverpool to open London Labour Film Festival

PRODUCED exclusively on Merseyside by the team at award winning not for profit filmmaking organisation First Take, Big Society The Musical is a provocative, creative and gutsy response to the insult that is the governments 'Big Society' policy. Set in Liverpool in 2011, it is a hard-hitting, tragic yet hopeful personal drama. First Take filmed against the backdrop of events as they were unfolding; the austerity marches, the royal wedding, the riots, weaving them into the fabric of the film, the music and the personal drama. Now, this ground-breaking piece of work will be screened at the Odeon Cinema, Covent Garden, as the opening film of the London Labour Film Festival. "Last year a Ken Loach film opened the festival so we are in good company!" explains First Take Producer Nicola Mitchell.

It was 5 February 2011 when First Take shot the first footage for the film and it was 2 March 2014, over 3 years later, when they shot the last. It is a stunning achievement. A musical with 16 original tracks with lyrics that subvert Cameron's rhetoric, insightful and beautiful cinematography, hard-hitting performances from award winning actor Paula Simms, the amazing voice of Jennifer John from Sense of Sound Choir, Dan Wilson of The Cubical and introducing the raw talent of Joe Maddocks who plays the young offender Connor and who defiantly sings:- "we're all in this together, that's what the man on the TV says…"

The film is a beautifully honest and moving portrayal from the heart of the real 'Big Society'. Lynne Harwood, the director, explains, "It is our creative response to the cuts. 'Big Society The Musical' is about standing up and saying this is who we are – the real big society - and our actions speak louder than their words. As one of the characters in the film sings - 'If they don't see us march, then we'll dance. If they don't hear us shout, then we'll sing.' And that's what we're doing with this film."

The production was made possible by funding from Liverpool City Council, Unison Northwest, SHAP and the Cooperative Community Fund. Co-Producer Jenny Monks explains why the festival is so important:- "This is a huge coup for us as we have been chosen as the only British film and our world premiere screening will open the festival to all major press."

Set in a society that no longer values or cares for the young and vulnerable, Linda (Paula Simms), a fearless woman in her late 40s who works with young offenders, faces unemployment. When she loses her job she loses contact with Connor (Joe Maddocks), a disillusioned 14 year old who has no one apart from her. Linda risks her relationship, her home and her reputation to help him. But as she fights for control, she realises she has none.

Spanning 5 days at the heart of the UK capital, and taking audiences on journeys from the effects of the financial crisis on the working classes, to visions of future labour, the London Labour Film Festival will welcome guests including Ken Loach and Mike Leigh for what will be a major contribution to a growing global movement committed to cinema's treatment of labour. 'Big Society The Musical' will screen at 6pm, on 28 April 2014, at Odeon Cinema Covent Garden, London.

Book your tickets here:- can find out more about the film and watch the trailer online at:-

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