My Kentish Town: Channel 4 founding member Roger Graef on making films from Kentish Town

Roger Graef.

Roger Graef. - Credit: Archant

Roger Graef, 77, is an award-winning film-maker and criminologist. He was a founding member of Channel 4 and was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to film-making and broadcasting. The father-of-two is CEO of Films of Record production company, based in Anglers Lane, Kentish Town.

What brought Films of Record to Kentish Town?

We were bought by Ten Alps production company (based in Kentish Town). I was pleased to be in the company of its subsidiaries Brook Lapping and Blakeway - both high end documentary-makers.

If you were to make a film about your experience of Kentish Town, what would it explore?

The extraordinary social mix, and the hidden architectural treats in the small roads behind the always clogged main one.

How does Kentish Town compare to your old neighbourhood in Primrose Hill?

It’s much less grand, much more mixed, and has much less green space.

Most Read

You have an extremely generous extended lunch break from the office to spend in Kentish Town, what would you get up to?

I would get to either Tolli or Pane Vino, both opposite the Tube station and make great home-cooked Italian food. Delicious.

We have seen some heinous crimes hit the news recently, such as the killings of Tia Sharp and April Jones. As a criminologist, are you ever shocked by the depravity of some crimes?

Of course. But not just the infamous ones. A child dies roughly every three days at the hands of their ‘carer’, as does a woman from domestic violence at the hands of their partner or ex. Each and every one is shocking. Too many pass unremarked. But if a hundred women or children died in a plane crash or massacre it would make headlines and history.

Channel 4 has commissioned you to make a film for them to be broadcast next year. What would the film be about?

They have. It’s about fostering. It follows our award-winning BBC films Kids in Care and The Truth About Adoption. But the C4 film is very different in tone and approach. It will be seen early next year.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

He made a difference.