In The Making, Longlist - Short Film - Fiction

Lesson 7

Neil Linpow

Partizan and Big Trouble Films

For many people, their phone is their most trusted confidant. We take it everywhere with us, let it into our psyche and desires. We trust the apps we download, the audiobooks, podcasts and life guides we listen to. It’s the place we look to find the answers to both our passing whims and our deeper more existential life questions. I wanted to explore what it might look like if one of the smart devices or phone apps we give this intimate access to our lives could lead us towards violence and madness? How far could we allow ourselves to be pushed in the pursuit of freedom from the constraints of modern society? The goal was to craft a film that subverted the audiences expectations. To build a relatable sympathy for the protagonist through misdirection and then pull the rug from under them, revealing the true nature of the Lesson. We kept the writing lean in order to maintain a degree of narrative ambiguity, but tried to be considered in our visual language, so that we could answer enough questions and allow the audience to go along for the ride and let the story unfold. Written and shot before the Covid pandemic, the themes and ideas in the film feel especially relevant now, and channel an almost Black Mirror esque comment on ideology that we hope will entertain a diverse range of audiences.

Neil Linpow is an award winning actor and producer who has produced commercial work for directors including Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind) Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther), Bobby Farrelly (Dumb & Dumber) Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) and Colm McCarthy (Peaky Blinders, The Girl with all the Gifts, Black Mirror). His first short film, ‘Time’, directed in 2020, was an international festival hit, and qualified for BAFTA nomination through a number of festival screenings and award wins. His follow up film 'Lesson 7' continues to explore themes of loss, grief and responsibility and shows a progressively striking visual eye. He is currently developing a feature film with Tea Shop films and Warner Bros slated to shoot in November 2021 with Partizan's Matthias Hoene directing.