Last night, Tuesday 3rd February, Portsmouth Film Society opened its doors at the University of Portsmouth to launch Hampshire’s first ever LGBT Film Festival with a screening of 2014 hit Pride (Matthew Warchus). Joining the screening were Mike Jackson and David Lewis, original members of LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) along with the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Steven Wylie, and Senior Equality Champion at the University Pal Ahluwali.
Preceding the screening was a drinks reception where audience members were treated to free glasses of wine and sandwiches whilst they mingled with other film fans and browsed the LGSM merchandise that David Lewis and Mike Jackson had brought along. Merchandise for LGSM included the Pits and Perverts t-shirt (pictured below) that features in the film, along with LGSM pin badges (also below) and Lesbians Benefit for the Miners bags with profits split between the Mark Ashton Red Ribbon Trust charity (in support of AIDs) and the Turkish SOMA Miners Relief Fund.
As the audience settled down, excited about being the first people to experience the opening of Hampshire’s LGBT Film Festival, Mike Jackson gave a brief introduction to the film along with Steven Wylie and Portsmouth Film Society members. Pride was my favourite film of 2014, and so it was very exciting to see it again on the big screen before the DVD and Bluray release on 2nd March.
It was evident from the audible laughs throughout the film that the audience enjoyed it. There were people of all ages there, demonstrating the wide and universal appeal that the film has. After the film was a Q+A with Mike Jackson. He spoke to the audience about his experiences in LGSM during the miner’s strike, and about how factually accurate Pride was to the events that really happened. It is easy to guess that the member of LGSM in Pride that did not really exist was Joe. Some elements of the film needed to be fictitious however as Pride is a film meant for entertainment. It isn’t a documentary about the miner’s strike as Still the Enemy Within was (another film I highly recommend you watch).
Stephen Beresford, who is nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut, did a truly brilliant job of conveying the story of LGSM and the miner’s strike without sugaring the pill too much to make it pure comedy. Instead, he created a story about real people and their “battle against an enemy so much bigger and stronger than [them]”, and it is a film which is entertaining to watch, but educational to those, as one member of the audience pointed out about a friend, have to ask what a miner was because before the film, they did not know.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the event. Mike Jackson, along with other members of LGSM are the heroes of Pride that still continue to fight for socialism and worker’s rights.
I was fortunate enough to meet the brilliant Mike Jackson and David Lewis and chat to them about Pride and their role in LGSM, and here is a photo of me with Mike as we shouted “VICTORY TO THE MINERS!”
To find out more about LGSM, follow their Twitter HERE.
Pride was the first screening of Portsmouth’s first ever LGBT film festival, run by Portsmouth Film Society.
Other upcoming screenings include:
Strangers by the Lake – Thursday 5th February 7pm
Before Stonewall – Thursday 12th February 7pm
XXY – Tuesday 17th February 7pm
Tomboy – Thursday 19th February 7pm
The Way he Looks – Tuesday 24th February 7pm
SURPRISE FILM to close the LGBT Film Festival – Thursday 26th February 6:30pm