Seacoal (1985)

Amber Films

Amber’s first feature drama, rooted in a documentary engagement with the community of seacoalers on Lynemouth Beach in Northumberland.

The seacoalers, some of whom claimed support from the DHSS, were suspicious of cameras. Access was made possible because Side Gallery had recently given a commission to the Ashington photographer Mik Critchlow and one of his cousins, Trevor Critchlow, was a leading figure in the community. Amber bought a caravan on the site, which was initially used by Chris Killip to develop his photographic documentation (published by Steidl in 2011), then by the filmmakers. It won the European Film Award in 1986. It launched a long term Amber engagement with the harness racing community – Eden Valley (1995) and The Pursuit of Happiness (2008). Mik Critchlow also documented the Lynemouth community in Seacoalers.

Amber Films, 83 Mins, 1985

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