Feature film about Durham Miners' Gala to premiere

A feature film about the Durham Miners' Gala will be given its world prmiere next month.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 15:04 pm

Called 'The Big Meeting’ the feature length film will be shown for the first time at Redhills: Durham Miners Hall before it goes on general release in cinemas later this summer.

The 94-minute film explores the meaning of the Gala and follows some of the people who make it such an inspiring event. It also includes contributions from Gala supporters including Dennis Skinner and Jeremy Corbyn.

Banners being marched through the streets of Durham City.

The premiere, on Saturday, June 22, will feature a panel discussion with director Daniel Draper and some of the stars of the film.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Daniel, director of the acclaimed Dennis Skinner biopic Nature of the Beast, said: “I don’t think words alone can do justice to the Durham Miners’ Gala. It is as though this great celebration of working-class life takes place in the past, present and future simultaneously.

“This film is an exploration of something wonderful and beyond words.

“Redhills is the perfect setting for the premiere and I will be proud to share The Big Meeting for the first time at the home of the Durham miners.”

Jeremy Corbyn giving a keynote speech at Durham Miners' Gala.

Hosted by the Durham Miners’ Association since 1871, the Gala attracts more than 200,000 people to the city every second Saturday in July. The 135th Durham Miners’ Gala will be held on Saturday, July 13 2019.

Proceeds from the film premiere will go to the Marras – Friends of Durham Miners’ Gala, which was established to fund the event following the closure of the collieries.

Dave Anderson, chairman of the Marras, said: “We are delighted that Daniel and his team have captured the sights and sounds of this unique event.

"We hope this film will expose more people to what is the world’s greatest celebration of community, solidarity and working-class culture.

Durham Miners' Gala film.

"We look forward to seeing The Big Meeting on the big screen. We’ll be joined at the premiere by some good friends and special guests and we are sure it’ll be a very special occasion at Redhills.”

The premiere will be held at Redhills: Durham Miners Hall on Saturday, June 22, with doors opening at 6pm.

An allocation of premiere tickets will go on sale to Marras first on this week. To become a Marra and access the presale, go to: https://www.friendsofdurhamminersgala.org/join_us.

Tickets will then go on public sale on Monday, May 27, at buytickets.at/marras.

The brass bands are a huge part of the day.