What's The Idea?
'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' tells the story of a group of working men in 1907 who are joined by Frank Owen, a journeying decorator with a vision of a just society. Owen's spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism. 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' is both a masterpiece of wit and political passion and one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written.
We intend to finally bring this vitally important and relevant story to life on the big screen as a professional independent film, bringing it to an entirely new generation and breathing new life into Tressell’s classic work. Some Words about the story:
“A book that everyone should read.” GEORGE ORWELL
“A torch to pass from generation to generation.” TONY BENN
"A brilliant book." JEREMY CORBYN
The 2013 Film:
This will not be my first version of the novel on film. At 16, armed with £100 and a camera that I’d never used before, I made my own mini feature (45 min) adaptation of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Made with six voluntary professional actors (Including Basil, our co-producer, taking the lead role of Frank Owen) and a friend to record sound, I had the tenacity to do every aspect of the filmmaking process myself. I enlisted the attention of celebrities, the press and politicians to publicise the film through social media.
For the work of a 16 year old; I am incredibly proud of the film, however do not feel that we covered the story adequately due to our budget restrictions and my inexperience.
It has been three years since then, and in that time I have helmed many short film projects and have reached a level of experience at which I am ready to create the ultimate film adaptation of this great novel. In 2014 I released the original film for free online, with all its technical imperfections and homemade charm. It has amassed a lot of acclaim and attention as the only existing film of the story, including a key scene being used by an economics professor as a teaching aid in lectures! With the experience under my belt and the contacts and professionalism I have learned over years of filmmaking (both successes and failures), I am finally ready to re-tackle this important project.