Charlton film maker creates 'documentary of the year'

News Shopper: John Walsh John Walsh

BACK in 1990 a 20-year-old Charlton film student was showing one of his first works in Greenwich.

Now, 21 years after featuring in News Shopper, John Walsh is returning with a film the Guardian has called “documentary of the year”.

Since the showing of his student film on director Ray Harryhausen all those years ago, Mr Walsh has made numerous films and TV programmes, picking up two Bafta awards for the shows Karate Kids and Don’t Make Me Angry.

His latest, ToryBoy The Movie, shows how Mr Walsh, a lifelong Labour voter, fared when he stood for the Conservatives during last year’s election.

He said: “Had you told me five years ago I would stand for the Conservative Party I’d have probably lamped you.

“I come from a very strong Labour, working class background.”

News Shopper: John Walsh with Sir Stuart Bell

The film maker, now living in Greenwich, said he became interested in standing after meeting some “nasty people” on a project with Labour.

He said: “I initially did it to see if they’d accept someone like me.”

Using animation and political satire, the film follows Mr Walsh as he takes on Middlesbrough’s Labour incumbent Sir Stuart Bell, recently branded Britain’s laziest MP by the national press.

He said: “I initially meant this to be a personal video diary. I was worried it would burn my bridges - most people in TV are left-wing.

“But the reaction has been really positive. They haven’t said ‘What the hell have you done?’”

News Shopper: ToryBoy features animation to bring home its points

The film, nominated in this year’s prestigious Grierson Awards for documentaries, will show in Greenwich this month, something Mr Walsh is looking forward to.

He said: “We were much more nervous about showing it in Middlesborough. It created quite a storm.”

ToryBoy is shown at Greenwich Picturehouse on November 15 at 8.30pm, followed by a Q&A.

Visit picturehouses.co.uk to book.

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