In conversation with Rebecca O’Brien

Best known for her politically committed work, most often in collaboration with director Ken Loach and Screenwriter Paul Laverty, Rebecca O’Brien is one of Europe’s leading film producers. It is therefore fitting that as part of our Celebration of Women in Global Cinema, acknowledges her award-winning career with a short retrospective. We caught up with Rebecca ahead of her visit to HOME this March…

Which filmmakers or films have most inspired your work?

Well, Ken Loach and Paul Laverty obviously!  I was a huge fan of Ken’s work when I was growing up and it was amazing to find myself in a position to work with him.  I’m a big all-rounder when it comes to movies and have an eclectic taste but I have a real soft spot for cinema on a grand scale.  I love the musicals of the 1960’s for instance.

What can you tell us about your latest project and the themes you wanted to explore?

We’re currently in post production on Sorry We Missed You, written by Paul Laverty and directed by Ken Loach which will be launched later this year.  The film is a companion piece to our last, I, Daniel Blake and explores the world of the zero hours contract and the gig economy. We look at this through the eyes of a family who Theresa May would say are “Just About Managing”.

What are you most looking forward to about visiting Manchester/HOME?

The audience is great and always enthusiastic.  Arts Centres like HOME are the lifeblood of our country’s culture.

What advice would you offer other filmmakers that you wish you had known when starting out?

Don’t take it, or yourself, too seriously!  If you’re privileged enough to find work making films then enjoy yourself, don’t get overwhelmed by it all.

When you’re not at work, where are you most likely to be found?

Swimming in London’s Serpentine lake, drawing and painting rather bad pictures or watching movies.

Join us on Tue 5 March when we welcome Rebecca for a Q&A following the rare screening of the striking Friendship’s Death. Click here for more.