If you’ve never heard of filmmaker Colin Thomas, now’s the time to find out about the legacy of his counter cultural work, much of which was made in Bristol. Come to our first collaboration with Bristol Festival of Ideas at the Watershed, on May 7th.
Born and brought up in Wales but for many years based in Bristol, director and producer Colin Thomas has more than half a lifetime of innovative, restless, rebellious filmmaking under his belt. In his time at the BBC until 1978, when he resigned over an issue of censorship of a programme he made in Northern Ireland, and subsequently as an independent producer, for 50 years Thomas has never tired of, indeed even enjoyed, upsetting conventional wisdom and disrupting the status quo. Employing radical and provocative ideas in documentary, drama and animation, he has struggled consistently to make television a vehicle for useful purpose and to help us understand our own history, the better to ensure that we don’t become a prisoner of someone else’s.
In conversation with David Parker, he will explore this lifelong approach to filmmaking with extracts from documentaries such as Swallow Your Leader, Donald Crowhurst – Sponsored for Heroism and Reel Truth, from the award-winning series Animated Conversations, and from programmes focusing on history, including the groundbreaking series The Dragon Has Two Tongues.
After the session there will be a screening of an episode from a series which encapsulates the themes which have underpinned his lifetime approach to programme making, Till the Boys Come Home Programme Three – A Brush With Death.