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Flooding the Picture House with films

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Hebden Bridge and Mythlomroyd Arts Festival have joined forces to host a special screening of three short films reflecting on the Boxing Day floods that devastated both towns.

Each of the films that will shown on Saturday 23 April at Hebden Bridge Picture House reflect in very different ways on the aftermath of the floods.

The first film by Geoff Brokate and Paula Sutherland was commissioned by Mythlomroyd Arts Festival and is a poetic and moving combination of footage shot in the aftermath of the flood, poetry and contributions from local people who were affected when the torrent smashed through the town.

Unearthing surprising stories of a community coming together in adversity, 'Calder' documents the transformative impact of the flood and the personal challenges faced by individuals attempting to make positive changes in its aftermath.

Mytholmroyd Arts Festival's Artistic Director, Annie Harrison said: "Paula and Geoff have captured the resilience and resourcefulness that is at the heart of Mytholmroyd, and has not been dampened, even by the Boxing Day flood."

That film is followed by local film director Nick Wilding's short 'Floods Again, What caused the floods and how to prevent them being so destructive in the future' looking at what happened on Boxing Day and investigating if the depth of those floods were directly related to the failure of the Environment Agency to fulfil their statutory obligation since 2010 to maintain the river bed and its banks.

It makes a plea for members of the Environment Agency to stop refusing to remove the vast piles of rubble and silt from the catchments, where the Calder and Elphin Brook collide in Mytholmroyd and where the Calder and the Hebden collide in Hebden Bridge.

The film show will be rounded off by a short trailer for a film by Jason Elliott - scheduled to be shown in full this summer - where he interviews people affected by the flood and those who volunteered to help the town recover.

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Director Helen Meller said, "When we booked the Picture House we intended to show some very different films looking at life on both towns, but given the events on Boxing Day, and its aftermath, it seemed a perfect opportunity to showcase the Artistic community's initial response to the disaster.

"Although each film is very different they not only make some very pertinent points powerfully, but are beautifully made, heartfelt pieces of work so we hope people will come along to not only reflect but have their say afterwards."

After the film showing there will be an open question and answer session chaired by Cllr James Fearon, Mayor of Hebden Royd, who features in Nick Wilding's film. He will be talking to Barry Greenwood and Anthony Milroy who also appear in Nick's film and Mytholmroyd Arts Festival Artistic Director Annie Harrison, also appearing in 'Calder'.

The screening is free with doors opening at 4.30pm and the first film shown at 5pm.