The Television Will Be Revolutionised
Channel 4 and the 1982 Workshop Declaration
Members and Members Plus on sale: Wednesday 28 June
General on sale: Thursday 29 June
A season of oppositional films from Channel 4’s first decade: a radical, game-changing era that opened doors for diverse voices in cinemas and on British television.
Channel 4 began life in 1981 with a remit to provide innovative broadcasting, and to challenge the mainstream BBC/ITV duopoly. Under the1982 Workshop Declaration, the Channel agreed to fund and screen films from the ‘alternative’ film and video collectives – known as workshops.
Working closely with trade unions, Labour local authorities, political groups, women’s organisations and ethnic minority communities, by 1988, some 44 workshops had had films funded and screened by Channel 4.
So began a decade of experiment with politically progressive and aesthetically avant-garde documentaries and dramas screened on British television, which continued until 1990. The gateways had been opened to film-makers from diverse and regional backgrounds, and new voices found greater opportunities to share their stories.
Television Will Be Revolutionised: Acceptable Levels + panel
The first feature to be made under the Workshop Declaration, Acceptable Levels is a meditation on the ethics of film-making, and a powerful critique of the media.
Farewell to the Welfare State + Welcome to the Spiv Economy
A double-bill of abrasively radical films by two workshops – Trade Films and Newsreel Collective – with strong links to local labour movements.
Television Will Be Revolutionised: Handsworth Songs + shorts
A trio of films by left, feminist and black workshops, including Handsworth Songs, the celebrated film essay on race and disorder in Britain.