Made in Dagenham is one of those rare British films that looks set to capture the zeitgeist in a way that propels it from parochial picture to universal acclaim. Part funded by BBC Films, it tells the true story of the female car factory workers in Dagenham and their struggle to attain equal pay.
The story is so ready-made for popular adapatation that it seems strange it hasn't been considered before. Like smash British films The Full Monty and Billy Elliott it combines themes of role-reversal and struggle against adversity to present an engaging story with a serious historical message. The fact that the real-life Dagenham workers' struggle arguably affected employment law worldwide also adds weight and a universal angle to the story.
In this interview, veteran British producer Stephen Woolley recounts how he first became aware of the story via the Radio 4 documentary 'Reunion' and how he helped develop it into a viable screenplay. Woolley's longtime producing partner Elizabeth Karlsen also particpates in this interview, which covers many issues from assembling the star-studded cast to the social relevance of the film today.
Made in Dagenham is released on Friday 1st October 2010.
Interview, editing and text by James Rocarols.