From local roots to global screens: Shane Meadows' positioning in the ecology of contemporary British film

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    Abstract

    This article provides a case study of the ecology of British independent film, as illustrated through the continuing career of Shane Meadows. I focus on the intersection between the practices of economic independence and creative independence, ameliorated by low-budget, local films that exploit festival showcasing and critical buzz to achieve international exhibition in a range of markets. While Meadows' earlier films exemplify the reliance on television funding that has characterised British and continental European cinema since the 1980s, and the emerging significance of regional and Lotterybased funding in the 1990s, they also correspond to the local/international model of much low-budget European realist art cinema, best identified with the Dogme 95 films or those of the Dardenne brothers. Yet since Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002), Meadows has deviated from the established trajectory of recognised British auteurs, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, instead utilising co-production funding to reduce his budgets to ensure maintaining artistic control. Akin to post-Dogme rule-based production manifestoes such as 'Industrial Film DK', Meadows has developed and revisited his own rules: film what you know - focusing on a particular local community, localised identities, and restricted locations - in addition to improvisational approaches to acting. Consequently Meadows has achieved recognition as a local but global filmmaker.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)829-845
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
    Volume10
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

    Keywords

    • 5 Day Feature
    • Accented space
    • British independent film
    • Ecology
    • Festival showcasing
    • Local films
    • Low-budget
    • Regional funding
    • Shane Meadows

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