Report gets film opportunity

A FELIXSTOWE businessman is hiring the services of national documentary makers to highlight the plight of dispossessed farmers.Jim Adams of the Dispossessed Farmers' Association (DFA), contacted a production company who were interested in making a film about Suffolk farmers who were dispossessed of their lands and livelihoods during the Second World War.

A FELIXSTOWE businessman is hiring the services of national documentary makers to highlight the plight of dispossessed farmers.

Jim Adams of the Dispossessed Farmers' Association (DFA), contacted a production company who were interested in making a film about Suffolk farmers who were dispossessed of their lands and livelihoods during the Second World War.

Mairede Thomas and Paul Madden, of Screen First, told Mr Adams, a Felixstowe hair salon owner, they were keen to film a documentary as they had a 52 acre farm and an interest in rural and land issues.

"We are convinced this is an important subject which would make for very strong films," said Mr Madden.

He told Mr Adams: "We are suggesting something rather different, more considered and at greater length. A documentary or possibly a pair, which would look at the wartime situation using archive material and talk to the dispossessed families and others involve, and bring the story bang up to date with the European Court of Human Rights."

The partners have been running their production company for 18 years and before starting the business venture Mr Madden had been one of Channel Four's first commissioning editors, where he was responsible for commissioning the hugely popular children's animated drama The Snowman.

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Screen First have tackled a number of different subjects in past documentaries ranging from terrorism to Tommy Cooper.

The DFA has taken the dispossessed farmers fight for compensation to the European Court of Human Rights and hope to force the government to pay up more than half a century after families were evicted.

Mr Adams believes up to 15,000 farmers may have lost their land and livelihoods because they could not or would not conform to directives from the War Agricultural Committee and its successor.

He said the film would be very important for the farmers' fight because it would create more publicity and will encourage more people to come forward and tell their stories.

To take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, the dispossessed farmers will have to present the evidence from at least six different farmers. To do that they need to have kept all the documentation needed for proof, which Mr Adams said was proving difficult.

He said the association only has one chance at taking the claims to court and so wanted to ensure all the details were watertight.

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