Can documentaries about people living in poverty in the UK inform debate without resorting to voyeurism?
This relevant topic will be hotly debated on Friday at Sheffield’s documentary festival.
Among those taking part is Mark Saunders, independent documentary filmmaker and founder of Spectacle, a campaigning media production company and ever expanding web presence. Spectacle produced the Poverty and Participation in the Media Project. Mark will be showing clips discussing the BBC’s documentary The Tower and Channel 4’s Rich Kid, Poor Kid.
He will be joined on the platform by leading UK programme makers Andy Glynne, Nick Fraser, Jim Boyle, Alexander Goodman and Robert Pendlebury. Brian Woods of True Vision and Julia Lewis from the Rowntree Foundation are moderating.
Although reality shows have attempted to provide more insight into the realities of life in poverty, they beg the question as to whether contrasting wealth and poverty is a sound approach. There may be better ways to create memorable, sensitive and engaging films.
After the debate, there will a series of shortlisted pitches.
The event is being hosted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which has partnered with Mosaic Films and BBC Storyville to find documentary makers who can produce compelling stories which engage audiences and encourage debate on poverty in the UK.