Special previews of inspirational new movie for members of the Co-operative ahead of special gala screening

September 04, 2012

Fact is more compelling than fiction for this inspirational new movie telling the story of 28 men who battled a backdrop of poverty and harsh working conditions and whose principles are still changing the world almost 170 years later.

“The Rochdale Pioneers”, starring John Henshaw - known for roles in “Born and Bred”, “Early Doors” and “Looking for Eric”, and John McArdle, of Gallowglass, Brookside and Merseybeat fame, is being given special VIP screenings at eleven cinemas across the UK during September.

The previews give members of The Co-operative an exclusive opportunity to see the film and, meet one of its co-directors, ahead of the film’s special gala screening during Co-operatives United, a global festival of events and exhibitions to be held in Manchester between 29 October – 02 November.

Actor John Henshaw in a scene from the new movie “The Rochdale Pioneers”

The latest movie from The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy tells how the “Pioneers” vision for a better social order inspired them to overcome prejudice and adversity to form the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society in 1844 - recognised as the birth of the co-operative movement with an estimated one billion members worldwide today.

The film has been commissioned by The Co-operative Group – whose own origins trace back to the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society - to celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives, 2012 - a year dedicated to highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to world-wide socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, community cohesion, employment generation and social integration.

Mark Robinson-Field, The Co-operative’s National Co-operative and Membership Manager, said: ”In 1844 the original Rochdale Pioneers set out the principles that became the basis for how co-operatives around the world still operate to this day,  a remarkable story of struggle against adversity that is just as relevant today – we believe that the time is right for this inspirational story to be re-told to a new generation.”

The film was co-directed by film-makers John Montegrande and Adam Lee Hamilton. Film makers who were also responsible for The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy movie “Julius Caesar” which was nominated for the international Raindance Film Festival and premiered in London last October (2011).

The VIP screenings take place at the following cinemas this September (2012):

  • 9 September: Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds
  • 16 September: Cineworld Cinema, Brighton
  • 19 September: Electric Cinema, Birmingham
  • 20 September: Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
  • 25 September: ODEON, Preston PR2 
  • 25 September: ODEON Rochdale OL11 
  • 27 September: ODEON Stoke  
  • 27 September: ODEON Liverpool ONE
  • 27 September: Strand Cinema, Belfast
  • 28 September: Broadway Theatre, Nottingham
  • 29 September: Renoir Cinema, London

Tickets for the screenings are limited, further information is available by visiting www.co-operative.coop/vipscreening

Contact Details:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
T: 07702 505551
E: andrew.torr@co-operative.coop