radical political education and the working class
Inside Film is run by Deirdre O’Neill and Mike Wayne. Deirdre O’Neill was working in prison education when she started Inside Film in 2006 to teach filmmaking theory and practice to serving and later ex-prisoners. She is a working class academic and filmmaker.
Mike Wayne is a filmmaker and academic who teaches media and film studies at Brunel university. He has written widely on Marxism, film and culture.
Together, Deirdre and Mike made their first feature length documentary in 2008 while living for a year in Venezuela, which gave them chance to experience first-hand a popular working-class revolution.
One of the reasons why education often fails is because of a lack of engagement with the experiences, values and cultures of students from working class and ethnic minority backgrounds. Inside Film tries to create a space where those experiences and cultures are a valued and valid starting point for creative expression. When the students make their films, they ground them in their own experiences and use their own voices to tell their stories. The films demonstrated not just a replication or mimicking of the film and television world the students are so familiar with, but a critical engagement with it. Within a very short period of time they are able to make thoughtful and innovative films of a very high quality.