Timothy George Kelly directs I’m Voting Labour in the lead up to tomorrow’s election
With tomorrow's election nearly upon us, Timothy George Kelly celebrates the people of the UK through a minute-and-a-half-long film in support of the Labour party.
- 11 December 2019
- Jyni Ong
- Reading Time
- 3 minutes
With tomorrow’s (Thursday 12 December 2019) election nearly upon us, the political parties are coming up to the final hurdle this evening, gunning for the last push to sway a political movement that will affect all of us living in the UK. In light of this, filmmaker Timothy George Kelly has made a new film titled I’m Voting Labour, celebrating the people of the UK and highlighting the country’s vast cultural shifts in recent years. Produced by Compulsory and Joseph J Goldman, executively produced by Kadri Mahmoud, commissioned by Leo Dawson at Real Change Lab and edited by Jamie Hodgson, the poignant film centres on local communities up and down the UK and Labour’s pledge to help them.
“There has been a pretty successful cultural shift over the last 50 years run by Conservatives to simplify what it means to be working class into something straight-up negative,” Timothy tells It’s Nice That. “Scroungers. Chavs. Single mothers smoking fags waiting for a bus, forever grey sky above. If you change the meaning of something to be something no one wants to be, people will start to not see themselves as it is.” Originally from Melbourne, the director has previously directed for the likes of Nike, Adidas and H&M and has made two feature-length documentaries, the most recent being Brexitannia in 2017.
But now, with I’m Voting Labour, he highlights the “cultural erasure” that has led to dissolution and, in particular, “confusion into how people see themselves” today. He observes how this “has been enormously successful for the rich, and is part of the reason why you see people vote against their own interests.” As a divided nation, Timothy observes how “this cultural shift has smashed solidarity” and “erased the working class while it never went anywhere.” And it is for these reasons and more, that he wanted to make a film that inspires against this division.
“Working class means you have to work for a wage to survive,” he fervently adds in the bid to support Labour. “It’s pretty easy. It’s most of us.” Shooting the one-and-a-half-minute short across four different regions of the UK in only a week, I’m Voting Labour celebrates “the most of us and our lives.” He wanted the film to feel like a rave – joy, something worth fighting for and other things that we’ve already won – something inspiring with a touch of the melancholy for the future we haven’t achieved yet. The issue was how to fit all of it into a political short amidst a wealth of other content.
“Parties need a lot of content and they need it fast,” says Timothy on the jam-packed short. Ordinarily, this can lead to a drop in cinematic quality, but for Timothy and Labour, they wanted to show the opposite. Taking the risk to shoot the film in such a short time on 16 mm film with a bunch of young filmmakers including Spike Morris, Jaime Ackroyd and Jamie Harding, in turn, the short hints that Labour is “the party that cares about art and culture and music and the things that make life good.” He summarises: “They’re cool. Tories aren’t.”
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.