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Screen club gets film fans talking

Who’s been making the news round your way this week?

06 April, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Film club founder Domingos Coxi, right, with TV scheduler Ben Swales and filmmaker Frances Le

A NEW Sunday Film Club has been launched at St Luke’s Community Centre, aiming to bring together film fans for fun, discussion and debate. The first film chosen was sci-fi comedy drama The Robot & Frank, which tells the story of a retired burglar and his relationship with his robot carer and estranged family.

Film experts Ben Swales and Frances Le were on hand to start the discussion. Founder Domingos Coxi said: “We all went on to discuss how the subject matter had relations to current society – the focus on youth and the possible disregard of age and wisdom; the effects of Alzheimer’s; the over-reliance on new technology and the class division between the perceived poor and rich class systems. We chatted about the film industry, and how it is very difficult for the working class to get into it – whether it’s in front or behind the camera, and how we might make the inner workings more inclusive of potential performers from all backgrounds and generate diversity and less sexism.”

Domingos is looking to forge partnerships with film schools, movie industry organisations and start script reading sessions and film trips. More details from St Luke’s Community Centre, 90 Central Street, EC1V 8AJ, 020 7549 8181, email:,

Stong café support for good causes

Hussein Jaber, left, and Jim Kapetanos at Gadz Cafe by their Corbyn ‘Love Tree’, decorated with Corbyn heads

A POET and writer from Newington Green has teamed up with a well-known Finsbury Park café to raise cash for good causes. Jim Kapetanos put on a benefit gig at Gadz Café to raise money for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Jim says the people of Yemen have been forgotten as wars in places like Syria have dominated headlines. More than half of Yemen’s population is suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition due to the ongoing civil war. “In Syria people can get out but because of the borders in Yemen, people are trapped,” Jim says. “They are starving in their own country.” The event, which raised £150, featured Balkan and Arabic music from the seven-piece Tashkezar and tunes from troubadour Liam Rickard, other­wise known as the Worldwide Welshman.

Hussein Jaber, owner of the café, also hosted a fundraiser for Crisis homeless­ness charity’s Finsbury Park shop. Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn and his wife Laura Alvarez were in attendance. Mr Jaber is a huge Corbyn supporter, with posters of the Labour leader plastered all over his walls. “We have got to help as much as we can,” he says. “For me, I want to be like Jeremy Corbyn – to help as much as I can. Money or time, these things don’t matter to me. No one takes 1p with them when they die.”

Darren Strachan is raising money for people with hemiplegia

Marathon man Darren is taking on a 140-mile classic run across Greece

AFTER collapsing in tears after running almost 130 miles in 35-degree heat, you might think Highbury’s Darren Strachan might give this year’s Spartathlon – a 140-mile race across Greece – a miss. But you’d be wrong. The 42-year-old father-of-two is clearly addicted to long-distance running and pushing himself to his limits.

“I just want to finish it,” Darren says of his second attempt. “I learnt a lot last time around and I know I can go back and improve.”

He and three friends have made it into the 28-strong British team ahead of the race at the end of September. His gruelling training involves running the Belfast 24-hour race in June and a canal race from Bristol to London – and plenty of runs up Swains Lane in Highgate. Will he hang up his running shoes if he finishes this time round? “There’s no end to this daftness,” Darren says. “But I’ll be pretty happy if I finish.” The team is raising money for HemiHelp, a charity for children and young people with hemiplegia, a condition where one side of the body is left paralysed.

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