Mark Donne

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Mark Donne
Residence London, England
Known for Blogger for The Independent

Mark Donne is a London-based blogger and writer interested in British culture, globalisation, the politics of Latin America, and social justice. Donne has written regularly for The Independent[1] and The Guardian[2] newspapers. He has also appeared as a commentator on relevant issues on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News and other news programmes.

Early life and education[edit]

Donne is English.



In early 2009, after producing various short films for The Independent online, Donne set up the film collective "Brass Moustache" with producer and Director of Photography Joe Morris.

Donne and Morris produced various short-form political documentaries including interviews with Noam Chomsky and leader of the UK Labour Party Ed Miliband. They also collaborated on various music promo films for bands including "Lose My Way" for the UK indie-rock band TOY, which was chosen by "Creative Bloq" design magazine in its "25 Greatest Animated Music Videos".[3]

The Rime of the Modern Mariner[edit]

The film received a UK premiere in Sir Nicholas Hawksmoor's baroque "St Anne's Church" beside the River Thames in London, introduced by actor and playwright Steven Berkoff and performed with a live orchestral score, led by members of The Klaxons and Babyshambles.

"The Rime of the Modern Mariner" received a US premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The film was subsequently the subject of a BBC1 cultural feature transmitted in June 2010, and was chosen as The Times newspaper “Film of the Week”, was the subject of a major feature in VICE Magazine.[4] The film was official selection at various film festivals including Flanders International Film Festival Ghent (Belgium), Cinecity Film Festival (UK), Mexico City Film Festival (Mexico) and remains attached to a programme of forthcoming international festivals. The film also received prestigious theatrical screenings at Pompidou Centre (France), BAFTA Arena of Latitude Festival (UK), The Royal Maritime Museum (UK) and the Museum of London (UK).

The documentary received wide critical acclaim, with The Times Arts Editor Alex O'Connell writing "The film evokes the waterside architecture, music and arcane language, set to a score that samples a creaking hull, hammering cargoes and engine room rhythms" and The Guardian Film Editor Catherine Shoard stating "Something of that rock'n'roll spirit has survived in Mark Donne's movie: a stylish essay that combines chinwags with East End sea dogs with a gonzo two-week adventure on the high seas with the crew of a Maersk cargo boat."[5]

The UK Gold[edit]

The film[6] is currently touring international film festivals and received a European premiere at Copenhagen International Documentary Festival (CPH:DOX) as "official selection" and was nominated for the "FACT Journalism Prize" alongside eventual winner and 2014 Academy Award nominee "Dirty Wars".[citation needed]

Blogging and writing[edit]

Donne also produced a popular, politically controversial blog for The Independent online.[7]

Donne has written comment articles for various UK national newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Independent and The Big Issue.

Other projects[edit]

Since 2004, Donne has worked with Latin American human rights organisations and appeared as a guest of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on a live broadcast of his television programme "Alo Presidente" in September 2007.

In 2006–07, Donne was also a member of the small political team behind the Labour MP and anti-racist campaigner Jon Cruddas in his bid to become Deputy Leader of the British Labour Party. During the campaign, Donne publicly clashed with then Labour Deputy Leader Hazel Blears and accused her of hypocrisy for failing to support equal rights for British agency workers. Cruddas won the popular vote but eventually lost the competition following preference voting rounds to Harriet Harman. The Cruddas campaign, however, was voted "political campaign of the year" at the Channel 4 News 2008 political awards. Donne is connected to the British left-wing pressure group think-tank Compass.

On 8 February 2008, The Independent reported that Mark Donne has called for the closing of tax loopholes for the very wealthiest in Britain and for a rise in the living wage levels for the poorest in the British economy.[8] 10 Downing Street responded by explaining that via their own tax initiatives "non-dom" business taxation would go some way to closing the disparity of tax burden between the richest and poorest. The broader context for this debate is the rising anger within the UK of the perceived injustice of the taxation system and stagnant levels of social mobility.

On behalf of charities such as Oxfam, Child Poverty Action Group and Gingerbread (One Parent Families), Donne leads a national campaign to urge the wealthiest Premier League football clubs to pay off the pitch staff, including cleaners and hospitality workers, a living wage.

Instigate Debate[edit]

In August 2008, Donne set up Instigate Debate with musicians Jon McClure, Carl Barat, Drew McConnell and Kieran Leonard. The rolling initiative is designed to re-engage young people with contemporary political debate and to call into question the effect of the corporately owned media on the British democratic processes.

Donne introduced the project in The Guardian[9] and The Independent.[10]


External links[edit]