On The Cusp, Longlist - Planet Positive

Under the Surface

Tom Sweetland

This film came about because of my own passion for the ocean and my interest in Sailing. I joined the boat in Falmouth and was struck by the positivity of their crew and how dedicated they were about protecting our marine environment. I decided to capture their experience on the week long expedition and record interviews with them to see what common themes and issues could be pulled into this short.

As a self-taught documentary filmmaker, Tom Sweetland is drawn to projects that take personal narratives and put them at the centre of a much bigger issue. He loves discovering nuances everyday personalities and drawing out evocative stories. Tom’s short film “King of the Arena” about traditional wrestling in Senegal was featured and screened by the London Documentary Film Festival and NOWNESS.com before being acquired by National Geographic. Tom’s most provocative work included a series of films about the UK’s arms industry which was commissioned by Topic.com in the US. The series examines the UK’s arms exports by following three protagonists; an anti-arms activist, a former director of BAe Systems and a war refugee living in Birmingham. Tom has continued to hone his craft by making TV commercials and branded content, in the past 3 years he’s created work for brands including VW, Cadbury, Samsung and British Airways.