Community attends fundraising screening of film featuring Greenfields Board member

Community attends fundraising screening of film featuring Greenfields Board member
23rd September 2019 Amanda Bhavnani
David Russell

Greenfields Community Housing hosted a special screening of a film featuring Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth at a community-run theatre.

Kursk sees Firth play Commodore David Russell, now a Greenfields board member, who in 2000 led attempts to rescue the crew of a Russian submarine, which sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea.

At Halstead’s Empire Theatre last Thursday, 19 September, guests including local community leaders, headteachers and housing association leaders got the chance to quiz David about his experiences during a Q&A session before watching the film.

They also heard from Greenfields’ Chief Executive Emma Palmer and Chair Dale Butcher about the housing association’s efforts to tackle the shortage of genuinely affordable housing in the region and its exciting proposed partnership with Colne Housing, based in Colchester.

The event raised £136 in generous donations for Farleigh Hospice, Greenfields’ Charity of the Year.

David, who joined Greenfields’ Board in September 2018, previously served in the Royal Navy and was the first UK Trident submarine Commanding Officer.

He was involved in the production of the film from the outset, meeting up with Firth to help him prepare for the role. At its launch in July, the film attracted significant media interest and David has been interviewed by journalists from the BBC the Times, Telegraph, Daily Mirror and Daily Record.

David said while the film is not a documentary, it does broadly follow the events leading up to a tragedy which continues to have resonance today.

He said: “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about my career and involvement with Kursk with our guests on behalf of Greenfields.

“Thank you to the volunteers at Halstead Empire for generously giving up their time to host the event and to everyone attending for their donations to Farleigh Hospice.”

Greenfields Residents Group North, a group funded by Greenfields, last year awarded the Empire Theatre £2,000 to host dementia-friendly cinema screenings at the venue.