King for a Day Trailer

by Barbara Santi
3 minutes

Feature documentary in production

Inspirational story of indigenous Britain following a marginalized community at the heart of an ancient folk custom told through the archives of its people. Tensions between tradition and progress question the importance of cultural identity and the relevance of tradition in our globalised society.

A poetic insight into a community in transition – Cornwall’s “sexy, savage springtime rite”, known as the Obby Oss is a ritualistic celebration welcoming the summer dating back from at least 1803 and takes place in Padstow, a small fishing village in the far South West of Great Britain.

King for a Day is a contemporary archive-led collaborative documentary film immersing us in the personal story of the people of Padstow, their rituals and the challenges they face in a rapidly changing world. A cinematic journey interweaving new and old film material (1904 – present), found Super 8/16mm footage, licensed archive film, family photos (1800’s – present) and mobile phone clips - for the first time we see the significance of May Day through local eyes.

The film reveals the fragility of a community under duress. Will this be the last generation to tease the ‘Old Oss’ from his stable to welcome the Summer?