Stay Sailing is even better than it reads. It differs from most documentations on pirate radio for two main reasons. Firstly the in-depth examination and testimonials about the importance of this sub-culture to London. Secondly, his own history in pirate and BBC radio opened up shots and guests that almost all other film makers would’ve found frustratingly inaccessible. Mike Chandler set to be the future of UK film-making. “  see the whole article and interview here.

‘Stay Sailing’ looks at pirate radio, warts and all, providing a unique insight into this underworld phenomena. The film features exclusive interviews with DJs and managers from stations across the UK, from Passion, Rinse, Origin, Kiss, Itch and many more – as well as some of the pirate scene’s biggest names, such as DJ MK (now on Kiss) and Flight (previously on BBC’s 1Xtra). The film also gained exclusive access to some of the studios, locations and rooftops as pirates scaled a West London tower block at night to put up their rigs; and a tour of historic studios led by ex-pirate and grafitti artist Shucks One.

Pirate radio stations are a very British phenomena, pioneering new music, setting trends and building on British culture for the last 40 years. At any one point London had at least 80 stations. Pirate wars had people shooting each other for airwave space – but most are a dedicated bunch of music lovers – setting up their decks wherever someone is brave enough to offer them a room. Sometimes nice, sometimes a crack den.

Pirates have been integral to the UK’s music scene, but also provide a hub for communities, opportunities for the excluded, and something positive for street youth to do – but they are illegal. They regularly fight the law, and keep coming back. This is the story of Pirates as they face their toughest challenge yet – the digital age. Will it kill FM? Will pirates be able to keep sailing the airwaves, or are they dead in the water?

Directed by Michael Chandler, an ex-pirate DJ himself for over 10 years, which enabled him to get the exclusive access throughout the film. This is the second film by Michael Chandler, after the festival success of his first film, the short fantasy ‘The Fall’.

The film premiered at the Zulu Nation film night , screened at the BBC Radio Academy, and was even pirated its self! (the irony was appreciated).

It has been promoted by Occupy London’s Facebook page, who stated Stay Sailing was a ‘great documentary by the very talented Michael Chandler, a real insight into the importance pirate radio has played in communities around the UK and why that form of independent media is now under serious threat.’

‘Stay Sailing’ also features a soundtrack of new music from some of the UK artists, available to listen on Bandcamp here.

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