Grenfell Tower and Social Murder won gold in the Education & Training and Social Welfare categories at the Clarion awards last week. The judges said it was ‘compelling, raw and powerful’, that it ‘successfully challenges traditional notions of crime’, was ‘a great example of how the subject matter needs to be fully understood before film making can begin’, and concluded that it was ‘presented sensitively with superb narrative’.
Director Sian Hamlett and Yvette Williams from Justice 4 Grenfell chat about what the award means for them.
Sian, what are your thoughts on the award?
“First of all, I have to say what an amazing evening. It was great to see the huge range of Corporate Social Responsibility and education films being made at the moment – it was a celebration of all the work as much as anything else.
I am so happy that our film won in both its categories. We produced it as an educational resource, but these awards also recognise the film’s role in asking important questions about the tragedy at Grenfell tower, as well as opening it up to wider audiences.
Great films come from great collaborations and the film is the result of our strong relationship with academic David Scott at The Open University. Making the film was a humbling experience and I am proud of how the whole team worked sensitively together with this difficult material. I am also deeply thankful to Justice 4 Grenfell for allowing us to make the film and to survivors of the tragedy, who were willing to talk to us about their experience.”
Yvette, what does the award mean for you?
“The Justice 4 Grenfell Campaign was part of the team that won this award, but there are many people who were and are still outraged by the fatal fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14th 2017. There are still many issues and challenges to overcome before we start to move forward and see any kind of change.
While accepting this award, foremost in our minds, and why we will never give up this fight, is the fact that 72 beautiful souls needlessly lost their lives.
We dedicate this award to them and their families. With the continuing support of organisations like the Open University and Hamlett Films, the impact of the Grenfell Fire will never be forgotten.”
What does the film contribute to the campaign going forward?
“It greatly assists our road to get Justice 4 Grenfell. The impact of the fire sent shock waves throughout the world. Nearly 27 months on, grief and trauma still resonates and as the film predicts, this is likely to be the case for many years. The film is a great source of empirical data that captures the impact of the fire at a moment in time. It also gives great insight into how communities begin to heal and organise. We will use the film as part of our campaign to inform others of how community activism can play a pivotal role in the healing process following disasters and other tragic events.”