BAFTA-winning director Ken Loach appeared at an Aylesbury Estate community hall last week for a screening of his film I, Daniel Blake.
The Thurlow Lodge Community Hall in Thurlow Street was filled with 120 guests to watch the 2016 film, which won Outstanding Film of the Year at the BAFTAs on February 19.
Eighty-year-old Ken stayed until late for an exclusive Q&A with the guests.
Speaking afterwards about his visit, Ken told the News: “It should be perfectly normal for directors to do things like this, it should be part of what we do.
“I was very impressed by people who were there and their commitment to fighting for their community and for sustainable and secure housing, as well as the specific issues they are dealing with.”
The director said local councils needed to ensure that regeneration of 1960s estates is done “in the interests of local people, and for the long-term sustainability of local communities”.
He said that housing and welfare had been important issues to him ever since he told the story of a family who were split up after becoming homeless, in his 1966 film Cathy Come Home.
Tanya Murat of Defend Council Housing, who helped organise the screening, said: “It was an excellent discussion.
“People were talking about local campaigns they have been involved with, and there were questions for Ken about how do we fight austerity and benefit cuts and how we can stop social cleansing in our areas. It was a wide-ranging political debate.”
Defend Council Housing has also been supporting the newly-formed Wendover Community TRA and the Divine Rescue foodbank charity based at the hall.
The Wendover Community TRA is lobbying Southwark Council to give it a lease on the building.
The News has previously reported how Divine Rescue were occupying the hall after the council asked the charity to leave. Southwark made the request as the hall’s now-defunct managing committee decided to hand it over to the council in January. Following talks with the council, plans are now being drawn up to allow the foodbank remain tenants for longer.
Ticket money will partly be used to support leaseholders affected by Southwark Council’s pending compulsory purchase order.