The premiere of a powerful new film about homelessness in contemporary London featured a very unexpected guest: media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The executive chairman of News Corp joined his wife Jerry Hall and youngest daughter Chloe at a screening of Arran Shearing’s movie Forgotten Man, a portrayal of a struggling young actor in a theatre group for homeless people.
The fictional group is actually based on Cardboard Citizens, the UK’s only homeless people’s professional theatre company.
Murdoch was there to support Hall, who has a small part in the black and white drama (below). The model and actress has previously performed on Broadway, the West End and made a brief appearance in Tim Burton’s Batman.
According to the Loving Dalston website, Murdoch was spotted, harangued and called a very rude word by a young Corbynista as he left the Hackney Picturehouse.
But perhaps the revealing new film, shown as part of the East End Film Festival, gave Murdoch some new programming ideas or subjects for newspaper coverage?
Festival director Alison Poltock was surprised by his attendance, and hoped the portrayal of some of London’s most disadvantaged people might leave a lasting impression.
“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” said Poltock. “The film in question, Forgotten Man addressed the stigma of homelessness so I do hope it made a positive impact on him.”
Other work screened at the festival included the documentary Austerity Fight, a look at poverty, inequality and cuts to public services.