A new online documentary from Britain's Beer Alliance (BBA) tells the heartwarming story of a local pub in the Sussex countryside—but there's a sobering twist in the tale.
Directed by Smuggler's Chris Smith, who helmed the now infamous Netflix Fyre Festival documentary, "Fyre," the YouTube film goes behind the scenes at the Horns Lodge, with a heartwarming account of "the focal point of the village." We meet loyal customers and see everyday experiences.
But the film—a cutdown of which can be seen here—illustrates describes the pub’s appeal at the heart of the local community. As one local says, “If there’s a power cut, you head to the pub. If there’s a snowstorm, you head to the pub. If you’ve run out of anything, you head to the ----." The film stops in its tracks, the screen black, before an image flashes onto the screen of The Horns Lodge empty, and boarded up.
It's then revealed that The Horns Lodge shut its doors for the final time on 1 January 2019. The local community initially campaigned to try and buy the pub, but its future is still uncertain and the pub remains empty and closed. For the remaining 24 minutes of runtime, it remains frozen on the message: "Three pubs a day close their doors for good. Sign the petition to cut beer tax."
The documentary, by Havas London, is part of the ongoing campaign by BBA, "Long Live The Local." Launched last year with a spot celebrating pubs, it aims to promote their role in communities and cut taxes on beer.
The documentary is complemented by three shorter films, each focusing on some of the important roles pubs play in society. The campaign also includes a content partnership with LADbible, paid social and digital activity, a consumer-facing PR campaign, an OOH poster campaign in football stadia and a politically-focused media campaign. In-pub kits, including branded posters, beer mats and badges, will be placed into 25,000 pubs which have pledged their support for the campaign.