Carlos Torres: film maker & photographer

21 Jan

Everyone has a story. Film maker Carlos Torres reckons living in Islington will give him the film making opportunities he needs to develop his career.  Interview by Nicola Baird.

Carlos Torres: xxx

Carlos Torres: “London’s where the opportunities are. And I love it here.”

Spaniard Carlos Torres has been in the UK for three years but is happy to call Islington – and more specifically Archway – his home.

Carlos is from Granada, where he studied broadcast and sound, but when he was 26 he arrived in Chelmsford, Essex to better himself. “I had two friends living in Colchester [about 23 miles away] but found work in a tapas restaurant in Chelmsford. It was a good place to practice my English! At first I just wanted to come for a year. In Spain there are jobs in tourism, but not too many other things. After 10 months I moved to the big city – London – because that’s where the opportunities are. And I love it here.”

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Loving London is probably why time has just slipped by… “Granada has a lot of mountains. If you want to escape you go to a square and see the landscape. In London Primrose Hill gives you that feeling,” says Carlos. Although he likes Peckham and Brixton with their big African communities – “it’s like travelling without leaving the country” he explains – he’s settled in Hornsey Road, Islington but has also found time to look around Essex, Norfolk, Devon and Brighton.

Places Carlos Torres likes in Islington

  • The Gate Café is good. 6 Archway Close, Archway Island, N19 2TD. @TheGateArchway
  • I like Junction Café. They have chicken shish – it’s good and cheap, and they have a terrace. 61 Junction Road, N19 5QU. Tel: 0207 561 0991
  • Dartmouth Park is a good place to sit and chill.
  • Del Parc is a really good Mediterranean restaurant (serving coffee, tapas, drinks etc). It is small and the two owners, Alan and Steve make it a really friendly environment. I can make a good tortilla at home but their tortilla is really nice. 167 Junction Road, Tufnell Park, N19 5PZ, tel: 020 7281 5684. Open Wed-Sat.
  • I like to go to Islington libraries especially Archway and North Library. They are so different to public libraries in Spain. They have such a friendly environment and you see kids using them almost every day.

“I’ve made a lot of friends in London. I think what I like most is the immersion of cultures – there are so many people from different cultures. It makes London really fun. The only thing I don’t like is how many people are leaving all the time. Saying goodbye is hard,” he says with a generous smile.

Although many people say that life in Spain is particularly hard at the moment Carlos has based himself in London because it’s a mecca for film making. “If you want to get somewhere you can reach it in London.”

Capturing a Speak Street session at the Gate Cafe on Archway island. Photo by Carlos Torres.

Capturing a Speak Street session at the Gate Cafe on Archway island. Photo by Carlos Torres.

Tips from Carlos Torres for taking photos

  • Capture the moment – or prepare the photo. I like using a film camera. I’m using 35mm and really loving it.
  • I have been developing photos at Highgate Community Centre. The caretaker is a real character. I like the idea that everyone on this Earth has their role to do and I’d like to document as much as I can in London.
  • I try to catch a moment or something that may be very different in the future because London is constantly changing.

Not only is Carlos photographing in his free time, he also works at a Brazilian TV company based on Seven Sisters Road. And as he’s got to know the area better he’s also helped out on a range of community projects making films for Speak Street, the amazing language learning exchange co-ordinated by Joanna Bevan (who has written several interviews for islingtonfaces blog).


Carlos also created the 4 minute film of Islington Faces Live at the King’s Head Theatre in October 2014. Find out more about this here.

“Hopefully I’ll stay here for a few years and do as much as I can. I especially like catching a moment in time – on film – because London is changing so fast,” he explains but then laughs remembering the UK’s big snag… “The weather is the only problem.”

  • Follow Carlos Torres on his facebook page here.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via at Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook. Even better follow (see menu top right), @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search by interviewee’s roles or jobs to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola


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