Filmmaker promotes ‘The Forgotten Voices’

Image of the ICC in Birmingham. Credit: Google maps - William Mann

WHEN the period post Brexit vote, is pored over by historians to examine which concerns became a reality and which did not, the work of Gemma Middleton will feature prominently.

A filmmaker and script-writer who has lived in Spain for seven years, she felt strongly that the voices of the expats were not being taken into account by policy makers in the UK.

“We are immigrants. We are no different. We need to get our voices out there,” she says.

When she first devised the project and began to test the water, she was bombarded by offers and views.

“We have no voice and this was the one way I could get these voices out there,” says Gemma, for whom the film is her second solo project for her production company, Girl Friday Films.

In conjunction with Spanish director Samuel Sebastian, they have put the first part of the film on YouTube and are looking to interest major players in the UK TV and film market.

As an expat herself, although she does not like the term, Gemma said she was shocked by the outcome of the vote, particularly when her family in the UK voted to leave, and fears those living in Spain will now find themselves dictated to from afar.

“My family at home voted to leave without thinking twice about it and what it would mean for me. That made me see that if they didn’t, what chance was there the British government would?

“We are pawns in the whole thing. I’m convinced of that,” said Gemma, a mother-of-two, who refers to the UK immigrants in Spain as The Forgotten Voices.

The PM Theresa May, she believes, has deliberately appointed the three most prominent individuals behind the Brexit vote to oversee the UK’s departure.

“If they make a mess of it, she can turn round to the nation and say: ‘I didn’t do it, it’s what they have done’.” 

An aspect that appears to some to be increasing in the aftermath of the vote is racism in the UK towards immigrants, some of whom have been in the country for many years.

“There are very worrying signs that it’s increasing,” said Gemma who is part of a post-Brexit anti-racism group. 

© Girl Friday Films

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