This twelve-minute film from director Anas Alkarmi, Imagine Films and the Palestine Return Centre was premièred during PalExpo London at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre on July 8th and released online on October 30th to coincide with the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
It is a hard-hitting and chilling piece depicting the eviction of a British family from their home to make room for a homeless family from abroad. The comparison is clear: a Palestinian family being displaced by a Jewish one as a result of the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
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I have recently returned from Athelhampton House in Dorset where, for Imagine Films (and in moustache and whiskers – “spiritgumtastic”, as Agent L put it) I impersonated Sir Arthur Balfour. He was the one who in 1917 was instrumental in popping the Jewish People into their new homeland in Palestine. And how well that has gone.
Not only was I required to get the wording of the Balfour Declaration right, but was also expected to walk with a limp and a cane whilst simultaneously smoking a pipe stuffed with what I suspect was strong cigarette tobacco. Needless to say, the resultant nausea was such that I could do none of the above with much proficiency. Oh, and the clouds of pollution I produced repeatedly set off the fire alarms which in turn necessitated the application of a pink condom-type cover to fool the sensor.
Spot the uncanny resemblance:
Casting Director: Belinda Norcliffe
A delightful Ferrero Kinder Egg commercial filmed in a Viennese garden last year has recently hit the screens in Europe. There are children, carrots, the ears of an Easter bunny (oryctolagus cuniculus) and, at the very end, an old git doing septuagenarian granddad-acting with his lovely “wife” for the day, Carole Goodman. All this in the heat of summer sunshine boosted by some monster arc lamps. Although there were no chocolate freebies (even melted ones) available, I did come away with that natty, beige jersey in exchange for wearing my own shoes.
On the strength of my growing reputation for being children- and animal-friendly, I was invited to bond with a dog (an oversized Corgi with a red neckerchief, as I recall) for a currently unreleased ident for an unnamed company. Suffice it to say that when I bent to show said canine some affection, the creature’s loving and lingual attentions (coupled with extreme dog-breath) necessitated calling Make-up for a wet-wipe before the next take. Tight-lipped was I for the rest of the shoot.
In February, care of Emily Tilelli Casting, I was married for a day to Maggie MacLeod (she who spent the previous night in the Bartholomew residence – with the knowledge and consent of his current, actual and indeed real wife, Julie) before filming a Valentine’s Day piece for Morrisons. This time, we were destined to be upstaged by a bleeding heart sponge-cake, a characterful little confection which got its own Winnebago, all the attention and a stand-in. Both cakes were later consumed by the crew, so who has the last laugh?
Most recently, I might have been spotted walking another dog called Bertie in Tooley Street. Again, I am not yet able to divulge any details, but I can say that despite it being a glorious May afternoon, the rain was pouring down courtesy of a machine supplied by the London Fire service. In other news, one of my fellow pedestrians (a five-year old from Pimlico) now firmly believes that I am the real Father Christmas earning a spot of cash during his low season. Who am I to deny these things?