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Talking with Angels: from Salford to Hollywood
updated 22/01/04
Yousaf Ali Khan

From the post war slums of a 70s Salford estate to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood...

This is the story of how a boy who grew up in poverty and neglect could now be in line for an Oscar!

Yousaf Ali Khan

The short film Talking with Angels is a hard hitting examination of the stigma of schizophrenia. It was directed by Salford man Yousaf Ali Khan and is based on his childhood experiences.

Talking with Angels star Stephen Buckley
Talking with Angels star Stephen Buckley

Shot on Langworthy Estate in Salford and featuring a cast drawn largely from the local area, this short film takes a poignant look at notions of normality and poverty. Yet despite its humble beginnings, Talking with Angels could be in line for the most glamorous gong in the world!

It's been nominated to the Academy Awards panel in the category of 'Best Short Feature'. And on Tuesday (27 January), it will be shown in Hollywood to a panel of judges who will decide whether to shortlist the film for an Oscar.

Made in Salford
Yousaf wanted to film Talking With Angels on Salford's Ellor St Estate where he used to live before he moved to Langworthy - but it had just been demolished.

Casting took place in schools and community centres - with the lead role taken by local lad 12-year-old Stephen Buckley (Find out more). There are only four professional actors in the film.

Yousaf says: "You can find talent anywhere, so why shouldn’t that talent come from the community ? I wanted to work in Salford because that’s where I grew up. It would also be in bad taste not to take into account that you are filming in a community and you have a responsibility to put something back.

“For me this film isn’t part of a career path. We want to build some continuity in the area and continue to make films here and to hold workshops.”

Find out more by watching Inside Out, 7.30pm BBC1 on Monday 26 January 2004

In a nutshell:
  • Talking with Angels (U)
    Directed by Yousaf Ali Khan
    Produced by Janey de Nordwall and Michael Knowles
    Dur: 16 minutes

  • Find out more by watching Inside Out, 7.30pm BBC1 on Monday 26 January 2004

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