Documentary charts impact of life under lockdown
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A UNIQUE documentary of how lives were affected by lockdown had its online premiere earlier this month.
Letters from Lockdown features a number of people living in Teesdale and Weardale explaining how their lives have been affected by the pandemic.
The 24-minute film was commissioned as part of arts support charity Northern Heartlands’ Creativity in Crisis programme – a series of activities led by artists throughout the Covid-19 emergency.
Letters in Lockdown was produced and directed by Lizzie Klotz and Ed Cole.
Footage was gathered at the end of summer 2020, with filmmaker Oliver Smith working as cameraman and editor.
The film features original compositions from musician Jack Burton.
Mr Cole is well known in the dale, having grown up in Barnard Castle and being part of both the Turrets Youth Theatre group and the Castle Players.
He went on to study at Hull University and trained as an actor at Drama Centre London.
In 2011, he co-founded Middle Child Theatre Company in Hull. Since then he has remained an active member and collaborator for the company, as Middle Child has grown into a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning cornerstone of modern British theatre.
H moved back to the region last summer he has worked as a writer, director and dramaturg for local companies such as Jack Drum Arts, The Witham, Changing Relations and Northern Heartlands.
Ms Klotz is an independent choreographer, dancer and facilitator based in the North East who works with young people, non-trained dancers, professional dancers and learning-disabled artists, with companies such as Headway Arts, Jack Drum Arts, Cirque Bijou and Dance City.
Their film was unveiled on March 23 to coincide with first anniversary of the national lockdown.
Jill Cole, director of Northern Heartlands, said: “Participants in the film were led through a variety of creative exercises to identify, express and document their experiences of lockdown.
“These experiences were recorded and collated together to create a long-lasting and emotive archive for the region.
“The film will act as an informative and honest reflection on a unique time in history, both for those who lived through it, and for future generations.”
Among the familiar faces who took part in the film are Susan Kirkbride, secretary of the Barnard Castle Dementia Friendly Community Group, and Stephen Bainbridge, from Staindrop, who became one of the first people in the dale to receive a Covid-19 vaccine jab.
View the film at https:// shared-assets.adobe.com/ link/4efc6850-27cb-4b95-43b5-3dd2c5e3dd20.