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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2019. 67th Edition  > Festival Diary > Ode to joy in Hackney
Ode to joy in Hackney
Friday, September 27th, 2019

Director Sarah Gavron and scriptwriter Theresa Ikoko are in San Sebastián to present Rocks which is competing in the Official Selection. Their film is a portrait of the resilience you can find in a mixed ethnic neighbourhood in the East End of London, which as they’re both Londoners themselves, they wanted to bring to life in a way that hadn’t been seen before.

They both stressed that a lot of films address the problems in socially marginalized communities, but that rather than focusing on anger and rage, they wanted to celebrate the love and capacity for joy that these girls express and to focus on the friendship between them that carries them through despite all the problems that they face. The director pointed out that, “one of the most striking things that I discovered was just how much tenacity and drive they had, which was something you just don’t see in other films.” She added that, “you can’t be near them without laughing: they’re some of the most joyful people in the world.” They also mentioned that the casting process was rather unusual as they found the girls before they started writing the script, so they built the film around them and went into schools in the East End for over a year in what was a unique combination of casting and research.


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