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Unearthing Elephant: shopping centre film wins award

A documentary that takes an affectionate look at the much-maligned Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre has won an award.

Unearthing Elephant was produced last year by Sarah Butler with local artists Rebecca Davies and Eva Sajovic and ponders how a 1960s lump of concrete has become a vital social and small business hub.

The 23-minute film shows why the shopping centre is much more than a place of commerce – and what is likely to be lost when the site is redeveloped.

Last week it won an award from the Arts & Humanities Research Council. The award was presented at a ceremony held at BAFTA in Piccadilly.

It features the voices of several traders as well as shopping centre regulars including Janet Yatak.

The filmmakers turned to Eric Reynolds, the man who gave the shopping centre its notorious pink colour scheme in the 1990s, to comment on how the building has defied its critics – and predictions of its imminent demise – for so long.

Local historian Stephen Humphrey, who died last year, also appears in the film.

Mike Knell – a former manager of the shopping centre – provides the voice of the building.

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