The festival in Tolpuddle celebrating the story of the 6 martyrs has been running in one form or another since 1875. In it’s present form the festival was developed in 1997 by Nigel Costley the new South West TUC Regional Secretary, with the help of Dick Muskett from the Workers’ Beer Company. Today the festival ranks with The Durham Miners’ Gala and Levellers’ Day in Burford, Oxfordshire, as one the key summer events in the annual calendar of the UK Left.
Music, theatre and dance have been well represented at the festival since 1997 and the possibility of incorporating radical film into the festival has been on the agenda for many years. In 2014 the formation of the Radical Film Network and Public Domain Productions coincided with the restoration of the Vintage Mobile Cinema and collaboration with GorillaCinema to make the ambition for film at Tolpuddle into a reality.
Tolpuddle Radical Film Festival was founded in 2014 by Chris Jury Of Public Domain and Reuben Irving from Gorilla Cinema / University of Worcester. It is hoped the film festival will run for many years and grow in size and scope.