Pioneer of Poetic Documentary: A Denis Mitchell Retrospective

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On Wednesday 25th March 2009, the exact 50th anniversary of the transmission of the classic BBC television documentary "Morning in the Streets", the Centre for Broadcasting History Research at Bournemouth University will host a one-day tribute to documentary filmmaker Denis Mitchell, at Lighthouse Arts Centre, Poole, between 10am and 4.30pm. The retrospective will focus on Mitchell's little-known and fascinating BBC radio work during the mid to late 1950s, as well as his television work for the BBC and independent television companies during the late 1950s and 1960s.

The retrospective will feature archival screenings of the films "Morning in the Streets" (Dir. Denis Mitchell & Roy Harris, BBC, Prix Italia, 1959), "A Wedding on a Saturday" (Dir. Norman Swallow, Prod. Denis Mitchell, Granada, Prix Italia, 1965) and other short television documentaries, introduced by several of Mitchell's former friends and colleagues.

Keynote speakers will deliver papers on the following topics:

Film-maker and television historian Michael Darlow on his experiences of working with Mitchell and Norman Swallow at Granada TV

Veteran television critic Philip Purser on Mitchell's place in broadcasting history

Documentary scholar Professor John Corner on 'Morning in the Streets' and documentary voices

This event will explore vital issues surrounding the representation of the working classes in radio and television, as well as broader issues in documentary and broadcasting history. The event will be of interest to anyone interested in broadcasting history, and particularly to students of radio, film and television production.

Contact Lighthouse Arts Centre, Poole for tickets (£10, £8 concessions): 0844 406 8666

Or for more information contact:

Ieuan Franklin,
PhD Research Student,
Centre for Broadcasting History Research, Bournemouth University.
ifranklin [at]

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