"It is simply the greatest demonstration of working class culture in Britain." Jeremy Corbyn
The last feature film about the Durham Miners' Gala was made in 1963. 55-years later, it's time to explore and document the world's most significant annual public meeting in depth.
In December 2017, Shut Out The Light's documentary about Labour stalwart Dennis Skinner, Nature of the Beast, played to a sold-out audience at Redhills - The Miners' Hall in Durham. Having filmed at the Gala for Nature of the Beast and then being exposed to the history and aura of Redhills, Shut Out The Light approached the Durham Miners' Association about the possibility of making the first official feature-length documentary about the Gala.
The DMA agreed and have endorsed the project. Shut Out The Light had unprecedented access to the Gala, allowing them to capture it from all angles. The timing of this film is particularly relevant given that 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the DMA.
Filmed over summer 2018 and released in cinemas 6th September 2019, The Big Meeting is now available on DVD.