On The Cusp, Longlist - Personal

Pride in London - Hesitation

Chris Fowles

Jealous Films

Against the backdrop of the London skyline, which at first seems like two friends discussing lockdown, turns out to be something very different. The project actually started as a short personal project about life after lockdown, exploring multiple characters and how life had changed. But this one story in particular felt so urgent that we decided to focus on these two characters. We approached Pride directly and it turned out to be something they were interested in exploring and sharing. Our cast - Molly and Clare - are a real couple. This was partly for the sake of Covid guidelines, but they also turned out to be just perfect for the roles. We were particularly keen for them to be part of the project as the themes in the film were something they'd just started experiencing themselves. This is their first same-sex relationship and it's only a few months old - busy places they used to love like bars and parks had suddenly become intimidating even without Covid. I wanted to embrace the stillness and give the piece a quiet and authentic feel, so we chose to write a rough outline of the script but then improvise a great deal on set. I felt this would give us the most natural performances, and the freedom and flexibility paid off, they’re both incredible. Our aim was not to make something loud or in-your-face, but a real representation of the kind of conversations that are happening right now. That the fear of discrimination and its consequences can come through in small ways. And right now that is ever more complex to express and navigate. The film was shot in one evening in South London, with a small crew and our first non-commercial project under Covid-19 rules. The process was difficult at first but like anything you get used to it, and we were able to achieve a shoot fairly close to normal. And having entirely exterior locations certainly helped.

Chris is a BAFTA longlisted film and commercial director based in London. After directing theatre at a young age, Chris initially studied psychology before going on to train at Bournemouth Film School at The Arts University Bournemouth. His first short with writer Geoff Gedroyc, “Sleeping Dogs”, starring Joe McGann, screened at numerous international film festivals and was longlisted for a Welsh BAFTA. In 2011, he was one of the youngest directors invited onto the prestigious BFI National Film Academy scheme, and was named as one of the nations most promising new filmmakers. His commercial work for brands like Shelter, Reebok, VisitBritain and Renault has been recognised at the Webby and Clio awards.