One of the innovations at the 2005 Dulwich Festival was the appearance of a film evening of short films made by local directors. Out of that successful evening has sprung the Dog and Hat Film Society which has a programme of monthly showings of more local film-makers work at the Crown and Greyhound, Dulwich Village.
David Grey, Programming Director of Dog and Hat says:
"What is different about the Dog and Hat film society is our links to film production. Most film societies just show films to film buffs. Our members are not only film fans, but local film- makers as well. And we want to expand that. We are linked to Village Film, a not-for-profit company providing film training to young people in South London and screening their films. Dog and Hat is also linked to a documentary production company, Silver City Films, which specialises in social issues and human rights stories. We want Dog and Hat to be a fulcrum around which no-budget, emerging film-makers of South London can get their first efforts made and screened. And we want to bridge the gap between audience and film-maker, creating a thriving film community in South London"
Screenings are held (usually) the first Thursday of every month. Food and drink is available at the bar. Each evening is themed and some will include talks and Q&A sessions with directors. There is a mid-screening intermission to enable socialising and networking. Dog and Hat is a division of Village Film Ltd., which aims to train local young people as community filmmakers to exhibit and distribute local filmmakers' work.
Many of the directors are Dulwich based and already work in TV and Film. Charlotte Rowles is currently working in TV productions like Big Brother and has made a short documentary herself about the jury system. Bob Sohanpal has just completed Ducks, a short drama about two elderly couples, filmed at a pub off Red Post Hill. Adam Young, who works on BBC's Spooks, was the winner of the Best Newcomer prize at this year's Dulwich Festival for his first independent film, the comedy Bloody Squirrels filmed in Ruskin Park and is about a man who learns not to mess around with our fluffy-tailed friends. David Grey has lived in Dulwich since 1966 and has been making short documentaries about human rights and social issues for two years. Next March, his 60 minute documentary about political prisoners in the Caribbean will be premiered in London.
The next screening of Dog and Hat will be 12 January and the programme will include Common Ground a charming yet insightful short documentary by Yvonne Halloran about London's eclectic and ethnically diverse allotment communities, and Yam a feature length satire in which a put-upon middle-aged woman starts growing yams in her attic as a natural remedy for her menopausal problems. When the police jump to the conclusion she is a cannabis trafficker, chaos ensues - with surprising and far reaching consequences!