Posted on 18 November 2011

A major new film marking the birth of modern co-operatives is set to be filmed in Rochdale and people from the area have the chance to appear in the movie.
The Co-operative Group – as part of activities highlighting next year’s United Nations International Year of Co-operatives – is behind the new movie which is inspired by the 1944 film, ‘Men of Rochdale’.

The 52-minute feature will be made by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy who are looking for up to 150 extras to play supporting roles in the new production.

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy (BYFA) is inviting the community to find out more about the film and, to register their interest in becoming a supporting actor, at a session on Friday, 18 November, in the Grand Hall, Rochdale Town Hall.

The co-directors of the new film, Adam Lee Hamilton and John Montegrande – who worked together on the BYFA movie ‘Julius Caesar’ which, was nominated for last month’s prestigious Raindance Film Festival – will outline the vision for the new film which is to be distributed internationally and, shown at the co-operative world festival and expo at Manchester Central in autumn 2012.

Mark Robinson-Field, The Co-operative’s National Co-operative and Membership Manager, said: “This exciting project is inspired by the original Rochdale pioneers who, in 1844, set out ideals which became the basis for the principles on which co-operatives around the world still operate to this day.
“There are now approaching one billion members of co-operatives world-wide and, with a thriving co-operative sector enjoying international attention, we believed the time was right for this inspirational story to be re-told.”

Based in Manchester, The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual organisation with more than six million members and, as part of its commitment to inspiring young people, has developed a six-year partnership with The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy.

Kevin Atkinson, senior manager at The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy and producer for the new film, added: “BYFA, itself a co-operative, is delighted that its young upcoming filmmakers are working with The Co-operative to engage new audiences in this remarkable story.

“BYFA is set up to provide a unique and inspirational opportunity to today’s talented filmmakers and, it is no exaggeration to say that it has changed young lives – illustrating how co-operative principals including concern for community, accessibility for all and, education and training are just as relevant today.”

BYFA is looking for supporting actors aged 16 upwards.

Anyone wanting to attend the event on 18 November or, to register interest in appearing in the new movie should visit more information about the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives visit