Magic lantern gets down and dirty…

19 Jun

Bristol’s Magic Lantern Film Club teams up with Big Green Week to screen the Detroit based ‘Urban Roots’ and raise an amazing £245.49 for Awamu…




At 19:00 hrs on the 19th June 2013, thirty-five green fingered magic seekers pollinated at Bristol temple meads for the most chlorophylled screening Magic Lantern has put on to date. These new seedlings were in for a treat as The Magic Lantern Film club teamed up with Bristol’s Big Green Week festival and Leila Conners (The 11th Hour) and Mathew Schmid in the U. S of A to get down and dirty with a new film following the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit.

Their magic Bristol agents Patch Malone and Scruff Macfarlane guided the entrepid explorers on foot over the river Avon to the new disclosed venue of The Severn Project. With security passed, tunnels navigated and trains waved at two looming iron gates were prized open to their magic lantern hosts Joey and Kerry.


Guests entered an open area of scrub land surrounded like a flowers petals by six polytunnels full of rows of thriving salad plants. Steve the founder of the Severn Project invited people to check out the site, see what’s growing and to have a taste!


Visitors were treated to a fresh salad of mustards rockets, mizuna, mibuna, chard and land-cress all freshly picked and washed in the bath seconds before eating!

Steve and co supply many of the major Bristol restaurants including the Glass Boat, the Canteen and River Cottage. The majority of the people that work here and at their sister site in Keynsham are ex drug and substance misusers, giving them meaningful work as well as benefiting the project.

With Steve’s hands on intro over, magic cake and drinks bought, attendees took to their alfresco seats as the sun set over the Bristol skyline.


Kerry, the co-director of Magic Lantern introduced the special 3 min short film to kick the green magic off, a locally made documentary about an urban greening project in Bristol.

Bristol Based Libreville Films (A.K.A. Jean, antonio and Vincente) filmed the ongoing community gardening party at Rosa Parks Lane in the Ashley district of Bristol. This local gardening project along with the Severn project and the feature film Magic Lantern then screened illustrates the effect gardening can have on individuals and their community, both by those who do the gardening and those who reap the benefits either through the food on their plate or the lane they walk down every day. Urban roots is a film about the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Once the car manufacturing centre of the world the city has seen it’s population drop from two million in the 1950’s to one million today . With 1000’s of acres of derelict car plants and car parks the film follows the story of individuals and communities who have taken over and cultivated land and their communities.

As a special treat at the end of the night as the sky grew darker they screened for the first time a heartwarming short about Tom, our latest lovely little friend in Kampala, Uganda who Magic Lantern attendees have helped enrolee in school by buying a ticket for a magic lantern event. See how happy he is here!

They also had the honour of Bristol’s newly elected green councillor for Ashley ward, Rob Telford in the audience who the following day facebooked about the film! As the film states at the end ‘Plant a Seed’ , ‘change the world’ Magic Lantern couldn’t resist giving all their guests their very own free magic seedling to take home and plant. Each sunflower or cosmos now have new homes all around Bristol and maybe even further a field? Were hoping to see some images posted our our facebook page soon

Find out more about The Magic Lantern Film club here!


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