Israeli filmmaker Dalit Merhav brings the plight of the Leeds mining community to international attention with her latest short film, Coal in Their Veins.
Merhav, making a film based on real life events that struck hard in the region was of great significance to her. After relocating to West
Yorkshire, Dalit was drawn to the story of the closure of the coal mines in Leeds, Pontefract and Barnsley during the Thatcher era. Few have
any idea of how this fateful event drastically changed the shape of both large and small mining communities. Coal was once said to run
through the veins of pit villagers, however, since the closures, for many of the youngsters who live in former mining communities, it’s heroin.
For Dalit, an intimate interview with a true Yorkshire mother who struggled to rescue her son from the grip of heroin brought home the
personal devastation that addiction can have on those closest to an addict. Dalit also met with a drug addiction organisation to further
comprehend how addiction affects close family members.
The result of this intense research is a gritty, northern, challenging short film entitled Coal in Their Veins, which has been accepted by
four international film festivals since recently being completed. The film was shot during the pandemic, however cast and crew were not fazed
by the obstacles this presented. Lisa Allen of Coronation Street and Emmerdale fame, plays the lead role of a mother whose unconditional love for her son, played by rising star Declan O’Connor, never wavers. This heart wrenching tour de force concludes with how she finally finds the inner strength to make the right decision.
Dalit’s passion for filming is born out of many years of video editing on films, TV programmes, adverts and music videos, working with artists such as Travis, Cleopatra and UB40 in her earlier career in London. After relocating to the region to work with Yorkshire Television and numerous indie production companies, Dalit diversified, setting up a successful music production company, The Firm, which supplies
music to Sony, BMG and Universal Music. Dalit is now following her passion to make films based on life-changing events through her
company, ORA Films. Coal in Their Veins is certainly a feather in the cap of this inspirational director, however there is much more to come as she continues her cinematic journey.
For more information on the film’s UK release, head to Twitter @CITVshortfilm