OPen Cinema members
Budding filmmakers: Open Cinema contributors outside the Rose Lipman Building. Photograph: Open School East

A cinema project is making a public appeal for old photographs, film or footage of Hackney.

Open Cinema has been running since March and is part of community arts organisation Open School East. Under the tutelage of artist Neil Cummings, local film enthusiasts have been learning how collect, digitalise and edit film, as well as receive training in camera use, audio recording and programming.

Last month Open Cinema invited the public to bring any footage they have of Hackney to the Rose Lipman Building in a mass sharing event.

Another session is planned for Saturday 9 May, with all the footage to be used as material for a two-day cinema event in October centred on Hackney.

Mike Brooks, General Manager of Open School East, says the project is a lot more than a “bog standard archive project about making the past come alive”.

“It’s speaking more to the present,” he says. “It feels far more issue based. We’ve had footage of the squatting movement in the 1980s and some other really rich and interesting stuff.

“There are old markets that we never knew existed, things that haven’t changed at all and things that have changed completely. It’s really resonant.”

Brooks says the public response so far has been good, and that the finished piece will be a form of mass sharing and mass story telling, adding: “The more co-owned it is the better.”

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