Film Director Focuses On Hated Tower Block

"Living in the Shadow" of the Colliers Wood Tower

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A film has been made about the battle by residents for action to be taken on the unpopular Colliers Wood Tower once dubbed the 'most hated building in London'.

The film - "Living in the Shadow" - will get a special screening at Colliers Wood Community Centre at 7.15pm on Friday December 2.

It has been made by up and coming London-based film director Laurentiu Huianu. He trained at Prague Film School and his work has been shortlisted at several film festivals, including Portobello Film Festival 2010 and 2011, E17 Walthamstow International Film Festival 2011 and the Hungarian Film Festival 2009.

The owners of the 17-storey landmark Brown and Root Tower, Golfrate, have refused to sell the site to developers since planning permission was granted to turn the 1960s block into 200 flats in 2005, with the site also including a library, police office and shops.

Local MP Siobhain McDonagh has long campaigned for work to be carried out on the derelict tower and is pictured above protesting with local residents.

A Colliers Wood Tower Action Group set up on Facebook, which has more than 300 members, wants the building repaired so it is safe, and the back ugly exterior re-cladded in order to make it look better. They also want the rest of the car park knocked down and the building converted into flats in line with the planning approval that was granted nearly six years ago.

In 2006 the tower was voted London's most hated building in a BBC poll. In 2005, a Channel 4  series called "Demolition" put it in its shortlist of 12 buildings to be demolished. But it cannot actually be demolished as the costs are prohibitive because the Northern line would have to be shut and the A24 diverted.

Film director Laurentiu Huianu said: "This film has been in production for more than two years and gives the viewer a glimpse of how the machinery of power and greed can put a normal community under siege."

The film follows events relating to the tower over the last year, including the demolition of its adjacent car park, the discovery of an electric sub-station and the subsequent hold up of the demolition, several residents' meetings, and interviews with members of the local community.

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October 10, 2011