"It's by Lutonians about Luton for Luton”: Brothers to show documentary about town at Bute Street Film Festival

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Twin brothers from Luton have created a documentary about the town, shining a spotlight on arts and culture in the hopes of getting more people to engage with their community.

Jaspal and Jasbir Nangla, directors of Two Side Studios – a small independent video production company – have lived in the town since childhood and were confessed ‘creative recluses’.

Jasbir, who shot, planned and edited the 11-minute-long video, explained: “We used to do our thing. We didn't engage with the community or the town really, it's just a place that we lived.”

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But the brothers were first inspired to venture out and shoot ‘Tipping Point’, after seeing the reaction to Luton Town FC’s promotion to the Premier League last year.

Jaspal Nangla and James Cunliffe. Picture: Jasbir NanglaJaspal Nangla and James Cunliffe. Picture: Jasbir Nangla
Jaspal Nangla and James Cunliffe. Picture: Jasbir Nangla

Jasbir explained: “After seeing such a massive amount of people in the town that we've never seen before, all collectively unified under one banner, as well as that they were so diverse, that inspired us. But we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into if I'm being honest.”

After no luck contacting the club, the documentary’s journey started with Matty Ram. The brothers interviewed the young musician, whose song about Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu went viral, and the project began to “snowball”.

Following their interview with Matty, and producing his music video, the men were put in touch with Aimi Rix, an artist from the town; Andy King from Save Our Town; Luton’s Deadpool; the Bear Club’s Karl Brown; and other community members, who shared their thoughts of life in Luton.

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Jasbir said: “We wanted to capture exactly what we went through. You go to one person and they say, ‘You should talk to this person’.”

The documentary explores the history of the Power Court site, the challenges facing the town today and how Luton has been tackling similar issues since the 1970s – using archival footage to take viewers back in time.

Councillors and Cllr Mohammed Hanif (Luton’s mayor at the time of filming) spoke about the changes happening in the town and their thoughts on its future.

Jasbir explained: “I get the bureaucracy, the difficulties, the roadblocks and the obstacles that they're [councillors] facing and want to portray that the people in power are trying to make change. We're all in the same boat.”

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The ‘tipping point’ for the film was the town being taken to new heights after the Hatters made it to the highest league of English football, but made sure to include the arts and culture scenes to set an uplifting tone throughout.

Jasbir added: “It’s a documentary by Lutonians about Luton for Luton. I truly believe the town is broad: sometimes good, sometimes great, but there’s negative stuff as well. I did not want to ignore that. I think that's the only way we're able to grow and move past it is by acknowledging it.”

The documentary, ‘Tipping Point’, will be screened at the Bute Street Film and Art Festival on Thursday, August 1. The brothers will share the film for free after the event.

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