A lonely young woman struggles to deal with her melancholy despite the efforts of friends and family.
WHAT IS 'POLES' ABOUT?
Consumed by her melancholy and seemingly oppressed by every innocuous object in her home, Anna tries to find solace in her own reasoning. However, this line of thought leaves her paralysed in a state of indifference to everything. She acts out of routine more than impulse. Her coffee goes cold sitting in front of her, her toast burns. There is only one vision of peace, one space of silence… the end. Even when a friend calls her out Anna cannot focus on the interaction instead the noise of the cafe, the brightness of the day more and more assert her belief that the only way out is to leave. Sitting alone at home with a final parting retort to the world via social media a surprise phone call from her mother could be the only thing that pulls her from the gloom.
WHY ARE WE MAKING POLES?
Studies have found that Millennials are most subjected to loneliness and depression and were subsequently referred to as ‘the loneliest generation’. 50% have found themselves to be socially disconnected from a more interconnected world. The current climate with self-isolation and social distancing has exacerbated this feeling of emptiness, which has caused a massive decline in everyone’s mental health. This is why this film is MUCH NEEDED.
Although conversation around mental health is getting freer, loneliness and depression in Millennials are still widely misunderstood and stigmatised within this generation. Moreover, most of the films dealing with this issue are rather unrealistic, always ending with the main character finding a way to articulate what they are feeling. However, in real life, it’s unlikely to be the case.
With ‘POLES’, our goal is to promote a more realistic view of mental health in the media.
Where a documentary would require an intellectualisation of the issue, this would defeat the purpose of what we're seeking to achieve. Most of the time, however, the last thing you really want to do is talk. This film isn’t about depression, the film is an experience of melancholy. We don’t think people need any more lectures about mental health, sometimes art should simply be a reflection or a window.
Taking that philosophy and fully embracing the power of cinema, ‘Poles’ is a cinematic story. It needs to be watched and heard in order to be felt. The visual style is to utilise the organic feel of 16mm in contrast to an almost brutalist approach to composition and texture. There is a hardness and a spareness in the frame but like the famed and divisive architecture, a dense beauty. Anything that potentially emits a sound or frequency will be heightened: light bulbs, plug sockets, TVs on standby, boiling kettles, toasters, steam rising from coffee cups, the sound of a chair leg scraping across the floor. All things used to highlight the oppressiveness of basic existence really giving us that sense of hopelessness in Anna’s world: nothing helps. Yet we see in her eyes whilst there is sadness, it is not due to resignation. Anna wants to live and the pain in her face is the conflict. How does one who wants to live exist in a world that wants to kill you?
The film follows one character and is observed experientially. There’s no “narrative" as we’re not wanting to dictate a certain way of how depression plays out but dramatisation allows us to express how it feels. It’s definitely a meditation on melancholy but not one driven by plot. Cinema has this great ability to be both observational and existential. Audiences will either see themselves or have seen someone who appears like our character.
MEET THE TEAM
- WRITER/DIRECTOR: KIERAN BOURNE
Kieran Bourne is an independent Screenwriter and Director of Film, TV and Theatre. He has written and/or directed numerous award-winning short films including the Oscar and BAFTA Qualifying ‘I Am Pilate’ starring Shaun Scott, ‘Call It a Day’ which won the Best Dramedy Award at the BNM Web Fest 2020, ‘Say Your Name’ which received Best Director and Best Actress nominations at the Unrestricted View Film Festival 2019, LGBTQ drama ‘Soft Hands’ which won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the Fusion International Film Festival 2020 and the Oniros Best Silent Film Award winner ‘She’s Just a Girl and So Am I’.
He has shadowed directors on BBC dramas ‘Casualty’ and ‘Doctors’ as well being a Performance Arts Lecturer on Acting and Film at the Bucks New University.
PRODUCER/LEAD ACTRESS: ORIANE PICK
Oriane Pick is an actor and producer. In 2019, she produced and starred in the multi award-nominated short drama 'Say Your Name', for which she received two nominations as Best Actress. Having dreamt of creating her own series, Oriane is also the co-Showrunner, Executive Producer and one of the lead actresses in short-form dramedy 'Call It a Day'. She is the founder of Candid Broads Productions which aspires to give the stars of tomorrow a chance to create their projects with a fresh and original perspective, bringing to life diverse and meaningful stories to independent filmmaking, such examples include 'Smudged Smile' and 'KOTTI'. Oriane's latest role is Gabi in 'I AM', a short film that she also produced. It seeks to bring a new perspective on mental illness and break stigmas that still surround schizophrenia and is currently in post-production.
OUR PLAN FOR 'POLES'
At Candid Broads Productions, we aspire for change. We want to address social issues and fight for better mental health portrayals whilst bringing to the screen strong female characters, something that, unfortunately, is still lacking in our industry.
Our plan for ‘Poles’ is to enter the festival circuit as soon as the post-production is done, raising more awareness around the issue at hand and hopefully destigmatise depression and loneliness in Millennials.
As you may have noticed, we stripped back most of the costs but we still need to raise around £5000 to cover most parts of both the production and post-production. Indeed, as part of our commitment to tell this story in the most engaging way possible we decided to shoot on films, (it's totally worth it!!).
Our amazing crew will be mostly working for free but we still want to cover some of their expenses in exchange for their hard work.
Additionally, we are shooting in London and as some of you may know it's quite an expensive city. To fully immerse you in Anna's world and most importantly in her conflicted mind, we need to rent key locations such as her flat and a café, as well as, to buy appropriate costumes and set decors.
Finally, our goal is to enter the festival circuit with Poles to promote a better and more accurate portrayal of mental health in films.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES:
We are aware that the presence of Covid-19 may cause considerable risks towards our production and this is why we have carefully planned our shoot having in mind the safety of everyone involved.
Our talented team has already worked in this environment since November with ‘I AM’, ‘Smudged Smile’ and ‘KOTTI’, providing everyone with the knowledge and experience of the different safety protocols needed to ensure a secured set for both cast and crew during filming. Set in London, our film will adhere to the city’s guidelines which will be constantly monitored, adapting our shoot if needed.
Finally, our film is addressing depression and loneliness, thus portraying one’s state of mind can prove to be tricky. However, our writer has made sure to avoid moments that might be triggering the audience who suffer from this, in particular, or from a similar condition.
We know that the pandemic also has had a huge impact on everyone's finances and your ability to donate.
If you are able to financially contribute, we’d be forever grateful, but if not, spreading the word about the campaign could also make a huge difference.
Thank you for joining us in the fight to promote a better and accurate portrayal of mental health in films.