Remember Your First Game Of British Bulldog?

By Stuart Black Last edited 37 months ago
Remember Your First Game Of British Bulldog?

There is nothing in the world more serious than winning in the school playground. Or at least it seems that way at the time. This thundering London Short by Ben Garfield perfectly captures that feeling, making a battlefield out of the patch of Tarmac outside the classrooms. Pride, dread, determination, strategy — Homey manages to pack in all the elements you'd want from a great sports movie within three minutes.

Garfield told Londonist: "I remember the inspiration came as I was crossing Holloway Road. Although I wasn't in any real danger, as I got to the island in the middle I got a rush and a feeling of "I’m safe - I made it!" The sensation triggered a memory of playing British Bulldog in the school playground and the relief of getting to the other side."

Homey was shot at Grafton Primary School in Holloway where Garfield previously worked as a volunteer. "The head teacher Nitsa Sergides backed it from the word go and told me I could use the playground to film and take the children out of lessons. The entire cast was recruited from years four and five; we held screen tests and asked them about their experiences playing British Bulldog. They were mostly sheepish to admit they’d played it, as it’s now banned in schools, though I got the impression they all had at some point or another! When it came to filming, the performances came out naturally — with the occasional Haribo bribe to help to strengthen their commitment. I think the performances are a testament to the school because the children are encouraged to express themselves creatively throughout their time there."

Homey was made with the support of The Roundhouse, Ex Animo Foundation and now defunct Ideas Tap. Thanks to our friends at The Makeshift Cinema for tipping us off to Garfield and his film.

Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: londonshorts@londonist.com

To see other London Shorts click here.

Last Updated 14 July 2015