DETECTIVE turned author Arthur McKenzie last night urged investment in the arts sector as he prepared to premiere his gritty new crime movie.
The 74-year-old script-writer - a retired detective with Northumbria Police - is set to attend the first public screening of his new movie Harrigan at the Gala Theatre in Durham next Monday.
In an interview with the Sunday Sun he said: "The arts bring people into the city centre, it brings relief to people who need to laugh and who need to cry.
"The arts develop people's minds and intelligence and imagination. It's a big ball of social interaction which is really healthy for people. If you cut it off at the head it falls at the legs. I understand the constraints and I don't get involved in the politics."
Harrigan stars Teessideborn Stephen Tompkinson and is based on Mr McKenzie's real-life experiences as an officer in the Serious Crime Squad.
Funding for the production was solely down to his daughter, Kirsty Bell, who helped sourced more than Pounds 1.3m to bring it to the big screen.
Mr McKenzie, who now lives in Gosforth, Newcastle, said: "It was entirely privately financed so it's an incredible achievement.
It's based on some of my experiences - one of my favourite parts of being a cop was writing the reports and the paper work. If you think about it they are like mini-stories." Stars are due to turn out for the film's premiere next week. It was shot in Newcastle, Gateshead and Hartlepool, with the Swan Hunter shipyard among the locations used. Vince Woods, a producer from Tall Tree Pictures, said: "It was a relatively short process from bringing the money in to screening the film so we're very proud."
The North Goes Down The Pit: Nostalgia P43
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