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King for a Day

King for a Day (2022) MAIN

King for a Day

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Price: $320.00
Filmmaker Name: Barbara Santi
Film Length: 62 min
Film Year: 2022
Duration: 46-75 min
Decade: 2020s
Color: color
Region: Europe
Subject: Tradition and Revitalization
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King for a Day is a poetic archive-led documentary immersing us in the personal story of the people of Padstow, their ancient rituals and the challenges they face in a rapidly changing world. Tensions between tradition and progress punctuate the importance of cultural identity and the relevance of folk customs in our globalized society. King for a Day is an intimate portrait of a place and community pushed to the margins. A cinematic journey interweaving audio-visual archive spanning 150 years. Will this be the last generation to tease the ‘Old Oss’ from her stable to welcome the Summer? 

King for a Day is the inspirational story of indigenous Britain following a marginalized community at the heart of one of Europe’s oldest folk customs, told through the narratives and archives of its people. A personal insight into a community in transition – Padstow’s “sexy, savage springtime rite”, known as the Obby Oss, is an ancient, ritualistic celebration welcoming the summer on May 1st. Filmed over nine years in the shadow of Brexit, the documentary reveals how the tradition acts as a form of community defiance and a vehicle for the Padstow people to have a voice. For the first time, we see the significance of May Day through local eyes. 

Selected Screenings & Awards
Celtic Media Festival, Ireland, 2023
St. Just, Cornwall, UK, 2023
Tate Gallery, St. Ives, 2023
Heritales International Heritage Festival, Portugal, 2022
Berlin International Film Festival, Germany, 2022
Wales International Film Festival, UK, 2022


King for a Day

Director, Producer, Director of Photography & Editor
Barbara Santi

Executive Producers
awen productions

Jamie Mills

Additional Music
The people of Padstow

Aerial & Additional Photography
Jake Potter

Audio Mix
Richard Butler

Annette Brown

Editorial Consultant
Jane Val Baker

Archival Material
Doc Rowe Collection
Alan Lomax
Peter Kennedy
George Pickow
Malcolm McCarthy
McOwen Family


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