Keith How was born in the old Lambeth Hospital and has lived his entire life in Kennington. He says he ‘kind of stumbled into acting’ when some years ago he helped a friend out on a production as an extra. ‘I liked the experience on set, so enrolled at Morley College on a series of drama courses and went on from there,’ he tells Michael Holland.
Like the majority of actors Keith struggled to find regular work so took courage from something actor Bryan Brown said in an interview: ‘If you make the film yourself, they can’t tell you that you can’t be in it’. So Keith wrote Waste, put himself in it and will now watch his film have its world premier in The Cinema Museum, which is part of the hospital that he was born in.
Waste tells the story of Charlie Peters, just released from prison and eager to rebuild a relationship with his estranged daughter, as well as stay on the straight and narrow, with Keith playing Charlie. ‘The basic idea for the film literally just popped into my head one day and I initially wrote it as a short film script, however, over several years it grew into a full length feature,’ says the man who has also written a biography of lifer Mick Hart: Condemnation to Commendation.
Funding film-making is notoriously difficult. How did Keith manage? ‘The film was shot 90% in Kennington and on a budget that most people will tell you is impossible to shoot a feature film on… Part of our small budget was raised by crowdfunding.’ Did he pull in a few favours? ‘Waste was only possible due to a dedicated cast and crew willing to work for little more than bus fare and a sandwich, and I’ll be eternally grateful to them all for their commitment.’
Along with Keith, Katie Dalton plays the female lead, supported by Jerry Anderson, Paul Dewdney and Emmerdale stalwart, Bhasker Patel.
What next for Mr How? ‘After the premiere screening, we are hoping to enter Waste into some film festivals and see where it goes from there… And all further screenings will be publicised on Facebook.
The World Premiere of Waste can be seen at The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road), Kennington, SE11 4TH on Sunday 25th August. Times: Doors open 6.15pm. The Aim acoustic set 6.45pm. Introduction speeches 7.30pm. Screening of Waste 7.45pm. Q & A with cast and crew 9.15pm. Close 10.15pm. Admission: £5 can be purchased on The Cinema Museum website at http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk. Phone 020 7840 2200.