‘Incredible. Incredible again!’: EDIE hits the spot

Sometimes, the right film can hit the perfect sweet spot for the right audience. That was our experience screening EDIE for the loveliest group of guests at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden this week.

Guests at the EDIE screening

Our invitees were influencers from Age UK, Mothers’ Union, Rotary, Central London Outdoor Group and the Ramblers’ Association. Director Simon Hunter introduced the film by praising his star Sheila Hancock, stating that the project simply wouldn’t have worked with anybody else.

Guests at the EDIE screening

Everything we see onscreen, he told the audience, Sheila actually did: there’s no bluescreen, no stunt doubles. Just a very determined actress who put in the hours at the gym, went to Nordic Walking training – and climbed a mountain.

A fantastic testament to the healing power of connecting with nature and pushing your boundaries. Stunning. – Head of Engagement, The Ramblers

Continue reading ‘Incredible. Incredible again!’: EDIE hits the spot

‘Edie’ companion booklet – church version

We’ve partnered with Mothers’ Union to create a special version of our EDIE companion booklet for church groups. This resource has background information about the making of the film, as well as discussion questions and reflections. EDIE is a moving story about regret and renewal, starring Sheila Hancock and Kevin Guthrie, in cinemas from May 25th.

You can download the booklet from the Mothers’ Union site.

Continue reading ‘Edie’ companion booklet – church version

‘Edie’ companion booklet

EDIE is a moving and inspiring film in cinemas from 25th May.  Our companion booklet includes background information about the making of the film, and questions for discussion.

Download the Companion Booklet here

Edith Moore (Sheila Hancock) is a bitter, gruff woman in her eighties. In the months following her husband’s death, her daughter Nancy plans for her to move to a retirement home – and Edie feels like it is the beginning of the end. It seems she will die carrying all the regrets of her past.

One regret haunts her most of all. When Edie was younger, her father planned a climbing trip for them in the Scottish Highlands. She yearned to go, but her husband, a difficult and controlling man, made her stay at home. Now nearly thirty years later, Edie decides to make the trip herself alone.

As Mt Suilven looms ahead, she realises how daunting the climb will be. She hires Jonny (Kevin Guthrie), a local man, to help her prepare – sparking an unexpected friendship, and an adventure which will change her life.

More at ediefilm.co.uk 

Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 4

We’re thrilled to be working with event cinema experts CinemaLive in bringing Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic to cinemas across the UK and Ireland. This dramatised production, in cinemas for one night only (Wednesday 28th March 2018), retells the Easter story in a striking new way.

Tom Morris OBE is the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and Associate Director of the UK’s National Theatre. His directing credits include War Horse and The Grinning Man.

We spoke to him about exploring the paradoxes of faith in this production of Messiah

Hi Tom, thanks for taking the time to chat. So obviously the music of Messiah is itself very dramatic, but you’ve chosen to also dramatise the action onstage. How did this decision develop?

TM: I think to a lot of people it isn’t obvious that the music is dramatic! Drama involves conflict and struggle – and one of the opportunities that excited me about this approach is that even though Handel was known to be a dramatist, people don’t tend to listen out for or think about the conflict which might exist in the music. Clearly what we’ve done isn’t the only way to do Messiah, but the decision to ask that question about what the struggle might be in the music – that got more and more exciting as we looked into it.

Continue reading Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 4

Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 2

We’re thrilled to be working with event cinema experts CinemaLive in bringing Handel’s Messiah from Bristol Old Vic to cinemas across the UK and Ireland. This dramatised production, in cinemas for one night only (Wednesday 28th March 2018), retells the Easter story in a striking new way. 

Alison Hargreaves is a freelance performing arts producer and filmmaker. I spoke to her about the challenges of staging Messiah.

Hi Alison, thanks for being part of our blog series. With so many productions of the Messiah happening every year, what makes this one special? 

AH: This piece of music is very familiar to lots of people – but it might be difficult to understand the human story. I felt the drama would help make sense of that story.

We’re trying to reveal the drama inside a piece of music people might assume they know, or assume is only relevant to people who already believe. Our production explores the question of why people might want to believe in the first place. That’s what drama is good for – to try and relate emotionally to people who have lived at a different time, had different lives.

Continue reading Passion and Paradox: ‘Messiah’ at the cinema, part 2

‘My faith grew deeper in my own darkest hour’: Community comment

Last night our team braved the cold to attend the premiere of Darkest Hour in London’s glittering Leicester Square. The Christmas decorations were up, the stars were out, and Joe Wright’s gripping Winston Churchill biopic was enjoyed by a packed cinema audience.

Justin and Melissa Montague walk the red carpet

Our community guests for the event included veterans from the Second World War, as well as from more recent conflicts. Retired Royal Marines Lance Corporal Justin Montague, who came with his wife Melissa, has served in Afghanistan – an experience which took him on a personal journey with a surprising destination. Justin is now training to be a Christian minister, saying that ‘my faith has grown deeper in the midst of my own “darkest hours”‘. 

I spoke to him about the film’s exploration of leadership, and what this meant to him as someone who’s been a leader in two very different contexts.

Continue reading ‘My faith grew deeper in my own darkest hour’: Community comment

‘A Long-Awaited Reckoning’: Hollywood after Weinstein

On 5th October, New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a story detailing decades of sexual harrassment allegations against Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein. This predatory behaviour had been part of the rumour mill for years, but previous attempts to publish anything substantial had fallen foul of Weinstein’s far-reaching influence.

This article went off in Hollywood like a bomb. Within days, Weinstein had been sacked, and more women were coming forward. On 10th October, the New Yorker published a piece by journalist Ronan Farrow accusing Weinstein of many more counts of sexual harassment and assault. High-profile actresses like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow joined the chorus.

The New Yorker

And it didn’t stop there. Emboldened, women – and men – across the entertainment industry spoke about their own experiences of being sexually harassed, assaulted and intimated at work. Their stories implicated Kevin Spacey,  Steven Segal, producer Brett Ratner, comedian Louis CK, and many more. They lifted a lid on a toxic culture where powerful men feel entitled to do whatever they want, without fearing consequences.

Continue reading ‘A Long-Awaited Reckoning’: Hollywood after Weinstein

‘Summer in the Forest’ Companion Booklet

Imagine sitting down for a meal with someone different to you.

 Something stopped you coming here before. The expectation of awkward silence, perhaps. The suspicion that your worst fears about the other person might be confirmed. Your discomfort with the unknown.  

 But as you begin to look at each other, to eat together, something shifts. You talk about everyday things, and begin to enjoy each other’s company. A joke catches you off-guard, and you start to laugh. You forget yourself.

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Download the free companion booklet

Life-affirming new documentary Summer in the Forest is in cinemas and online June 23. This poetic film follows the life of the L’Arche community in Trosly, France, where people with learning disabilities and those who support them have found what it truly means to be human.

This companion booklet introduces the stars of the film, and the transforming wisdom of Jean Vanier, who founded the L’Arche movement.

More at summerintheforest.com

Summer by the sea: A journey into L’Arche Bognor (part 2)

Sophie faceAs chronicled in part 1 of this post, I recently spent time with the L’Arche community in Bognor Regis, as part of creating a special resource for new documentary Summer in the Forest.

Hugh Campkin is the community leader at Bognor, and I spoke to him about the joys and challenges of this unique role.

Hugh Campkin (left) with a core member at L'Arche Bognor
Hugh Campkin (left) with a core member at L’Arche Bognor

Continue reading Summer by the sea: A journey into L’Arche Bognor (part 2)

Summer by the sea: A journey into L’Arche Bognor (part 1)

Sophie faceWe couldn’t be more pleased and proud to be supporting the release of Summer in the Forest, a beautiful and life-affirming documentary which will be released in cinemas and on V-O-D 23rd June.

The film (directed by Randall Wright) follows Philippe, Michel, Andre and Patrick, who were locked away and forgotten in violent asylums until the 1960s, when the young philosopher Jean Vanier took a stand and secured their release. Together they created L’Arche Trosly-Breuil, a community at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris. A quiet revolution was born.

L’Arche (which now has 151 Communities in 37 countries) has a vision for a world where people with learning disabilities and their carers can discover a fuller life together. As part of the process of creating a companion booklet to go alongside Summer in the Forest, I paid a visit to the L’Arche Community closest to where Damaris Media is based: L’Arche Bognor Regis, on the South coast a short distance from the sea.

Continue reading Summer by the sea: A journey into L’Arche Bognor (part 1)