A film about the Grenfell Tower tragedy, created by Dr David Scott, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, in conjunction with Hamlett Films, has won not one but three awards.
The film was awarded gold in the educational category at the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards just announced in May 2020. It follows earlier success for the film in September 2019 when it won two awards at the EVCOM Clarion Awards.
The film – called ‘Grenfell Tower and Social Murder’ includes powerful testimonies from survivors and families of the bereaved.
Speaking about the latest US award for the film, made for The Open University’s undergraduate Criminology course, Dr Scott, chair and lead academic on the course, thanked Justice4Grenfell for their support and collaboration in making it.
“It was an honour to be involved in the creation of this film. It is exceptionally well made and exactly the kind of learning resource that The Open University aspires to.”
Whilst Sian Hamlett, Director of film, added: “We are humbled and honoured to receive this international award. Hamlet Films would like to thank all the people involved in making this film, especially the contributors who were either survivors or bereaved family members of this terrible tragedy.”
Unanimously high score
The EVCOM Clarion Awards celebrate the best in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) focused live and film work. ‘Grenfell Tower and Social Murder’ took Gold in two categories; Education and Training, and Social Welfare. The judges noted that the film received a unanimously high score and was described as ‘compelling’, ‘raw’ and ‘powerful’.
Dr Scott said:
“To have been involved in the making of this film has been a real privilege. The tragedy of the Grenfell Tower Fire, where 72 people lost their lives and 70 people were injured, has shone a spotlight on some of the deeply ingrained problems haunting contemporary society.”
“The film describes the Grenfell Tower fire as a form of ‘social murder’ to indicate how the toxic combination of austerity and deregulation have created an environment where profits are placed above basic safety concerns. This film provides a platform for the voices of survivors and a critical analysis of the context and response to the fire. It shows the hurt, harm, suffering and anger and how the fire has ripped apart people’s lives and their communities.
“It also sends a message the corporate power should be held in check, the voice of the little people is just as important if not more so, than the voice of the privilege and elite, the terrible consequences of austerity and deregulation and the denial of voice that accompanies privilege and power.”
Sian Hamlett, Managing Director for Hamlett Films said: “This recognition helps support the continuing fight that Justice for Grenfell is pursuing and demonstrates what can be achieved when through true collaboration is put in to action – thank you to The Open University and Justice for Grenfell. I am delighted at the success the film received.”
The film was commissioned for The Open University’s Introduction to Criminology module, to generate conversation about ‘what is crime’ and ‘who is responsible’. In late 2018 it won the Life Changing Award at the British Documentary Film Festival.
Read more about the making of the film in an interview with Dr David Scott of The Open University, and Sian Hamlett of Hamlett Films, for Viewfinder Magazine.