Founded in 2011, the Homeless Film Festival (HFF) is the only festival in the world that uses the film industry as a way of highlighting and tackling homeless issues. Now the Hulme Green Party is calling on the upcoming festival to boycott film screenings and other events hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).
Naturally, homelessness campaigns, students and Hulme Green Party have called these actions out.
A Hulme resident and Green Party campaigner, Deyika Nzeribe, said: “While we recognize the good work that the HFF are doing and have done, it is just wrong for them to ally themselves with MMU, who have aggressively pursued and evicted the Ark homeless camp twice in the last few months. It was a well organised shelter, which was doing a lot to raise awareness of homelessness and to provide support for vulnerable people.
“On the back of this ‘partnership’, MMU will be able to use HFF as an example of the good work it’s doing for the homeless, to cover up what it’s actually doing on the ground. HFF should do the right thing and boycott MMUs venue”.
In September, a spokesperson for MMU said of the Ark eviction, “We have been working with the council and support agencies to understand the complex nature of this situation and the group, and have satisfied ourselves that our actions would not be detrimental to genuine causes and individual needs”.
Figures on Manchester now has more official rough sleepers than any other UK city apart from London. There were 43 counted on the annual count last autumn, up 79% from 24 the previous year, though campaigners say the real figure could be much higher.