'Black Snow' named AHRC Best Research Film of the Year

Posted on 9 November 2018

Professor Stephen Linstead's award-winning film tells the story of England's worst mining disaster.

In 1866, an explosion at The Oaks colliery in Barnsley killed 361 people. It was the biggest industrial loss of life in the 19th century, but was largely forgotten until a group of ex-miners, trade unionists, and local historians began a campaign to erect a memorial to mark the 150th anniversary.

Black Snow shows the struggles of a historical community devastated by disaster, and of a contemporary community rediscovering itself by memorialising its lost industrial past.

Receiving the award on Thursday 8 November, Professor Linstead said, "This film was a really emotional journey for everyone involved in it. Some very ordinary people did some incredibly extraordinary things, both 150 years ago and a couple of years ago in trying to memorialise it."

The AHRC Research in Film Awards showcase new and emerging talent in filmmaking linked to arts and humanities research. Winners receive a trophy and a £2,000 prize to put towards future filmmaking endeavours.

Since Black Snow was released, Professor Linstead and musical director Jed Grimes have developed a 90-minute roadshow to take the film into post-industrial communities. Professor Linstead said, "They're still very buoyant, but they do feel forgotten, and this award will help us to remember that they're still there.

"The film's not about the past - it's about the future."