Meet our new patron - Sacha Parkinson

Leigh Film Society's newest patron is a familiar face from the screen who is also proud of her roots and keen to give back to her local community. Sacha Parkinson is best known for her role as Sian Powers in Coronation Street but has also acted in a number of other TV shows as well as the hard-hitting drama film Apostasy.

She moved to Tyldesley aged seven and grew up there while attending Walkden High School and Eccles College. It was while she was still studying there that she made her first appearance on the famed cobbles of Weatherfield.

Sacha previously visited Leigh Film Society for a screening of Apostasy back in 2019, taking part in a question-and-answer session afterwards. And she is delighted to be taking on the role of patron. She said: "It feels such an honour and makes me feel very proud. It also gives me a new sense of appreciation for my roots.

"it's such an incredible, passionate group of people who selflessly share a love for the arts and have made it their mission to bring film to the community. I love the arts and I want to give back in any way possible."

Sacha said she was particularly impressed by the orange bags of cinema sunshine given out by the society during the first lockdown last year. She said: "It was just keeping film going for vulnerable people during lockdown. That's so beautiful."

She said she hopes she can encourage people in the borough to get involved in the arts, to signpost young talent in the right direction, to share contacts in the industry and to inspire them to aim for the top. Sacha said it can still be difficult for someone from a town like Leigh to get into film or TV.

She said: "Working-class people are hugely under-represented in the arts. It can so often feel like there's an invisible wall around opportunities for a lot of those trying to get a foot in the door. "There are little to no resources for young people who have a desire to perform and little support for them to pursue it further.

"Ultimately it can feel unattainable, so having those conversations with an actor or director from a similar background to let them know it has been done even if it is hard is important. If I can make someone feel that way then that's great."

Sacha was speaking exclusively to Andrew Nowell for Leigh Film Society © 4th August 2021.

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