Northern Soul by Elaine Constantine

This is the story of a youth culture which changed a generation & influenced songwriters, producers, DJs & designers for decades

By Lee Isherwood | 13 June 2012

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This is the story of a youth culture which changed a generation and influenced songwriters, producers, DJs and designers for decades to come.

Northern Soul tells the tale of a nightclub based movement which developed in bleak industrial North-West England, as the tail end of Mod Culture delved ever deeper into black American soul music. It is a story of insistent rhythm and raw emotion, a film about ambition, fuelled by a desire to break out and succeed.The tale of two young men whose lives were changed forever. It was a time when clubs were to earn a place in music history, by embracing an embryonic sound that would soon be known as Northern Soul.

Elaine Constantine, Director, Northern Soul: “When Northern Soul exploded out of the North of England (where I grew up) it touched young lives in a way that nothing had done before. It was spellbinding to witness; young lads, who never expressed themselves, were suddenly dancing with passion to this new sound. As a young teenager, dancing to this music gave me an overwhelming feeling of belonging and euphoria. It’s this same feeling of excitement and belonging to something different and special that I want to give to the audience of the film.”

Elaine Constantine grew up in Bury, living and breathing the music, the clothes and the clubs, given her obsession with the subject she spent five years working with a script doctor to ensure that the film appeals on an international scale, whilst introducing the audience to a fascinating new world in the most authentic way possible and creating characters that resonate beyond this particular scene.

Elaine is perhaps better known for her ground-breaking work as a photographer. Her stream of awards and impressive client list certainly reflects the calibre of her work, indeed her unique style has been emulated by many other leading photographers. Her eye for a good shot and natural creativity ensured directing commercials, pop videos (incl. Richard Hawley and Moloko) and short documentary projects was a natural progression for Elaine.

In Northern Soul Elaine again brings her own unique approach to the fore, hand picking the cast, choosing unknown actors Elliot James Langridge and Josh Whitehouse to play the lead parts. Energy and enthusiasm for the film were the main criteria and both Elliot and Josh have this in spades. Such was their determination to secure these roles, both actors have been tirelessly working on the project for over two years, learning the distinctive Northern Soul style of dancing and intricate moves as well as zealously studying the quirks and mannerisms associated with Northern England in the 1970s, not least learning a local dialect!

Elliot and James will be joined by Lisa Stansfield, James Lance, Christian McKay, Ricky Tomlinson and Roisin Murphy with Steve Coogan also making an appearance. The film is due for release Spring 2013. The film begins shooting in the North West in July and is due for release Spring 2013.