A deadpan, dark comedy, that follows DERWYN, a lonely young Farmer, who, in the search for companionship, finds himself on a rather lifeless date. Set in rural Wales, Rural Romance deals with themes of loneliness, depression, and suicide - pressing issues in the Welsh countryside.
Hi, I’m GLEN GAIR, Writer/Director of RURAL ROMANCE.
A DEADPAN, DARK COMEDY, that follows DERWYN, a lonely young Farmer, who, in the search for COMPANIONSHIP, finds himself on a DATE with a VICTIM OF SUICIDE. Set in RURAL WALES, Rural Romance deals with themes of LONELINESS, DEPRESSION, and SUICIDE - pressing issues in the Welsh countryside, mostly within millennials and farming communities.
Back in 2018, the OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS discovered that YOUNG PEOPLE aged 16-24 felt lonely more often than any other age group of adults. The health impacts of LONELINESS have also been under scrutiny – studies have shown that people who are lonely are 50% more likely to die before their time, with research suggesting loneliness is as dangerous to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and more hazardous than being obese.
Earlier this year, the FARM SAFETY FOUNDATION (FSF), highlighted the importance of farmers looking after their mental health through targeted campaigns in the farming community. There are a number of mental health risk factors associated with agriculture. Farmers work long hours, often in isolation. Roughly 360 people took their own life in Wales in 2017 - that is about twice the number killed in road accidents, according to Public Health Wales. Suicide remains one of the BIGGEST KILLERS of men under 50 and the severity of the situation is so bad that SAMARITANS CYMRU believes mental health education should be made compulsory in schools in Wales to tackle the number of suicides.
OUR FILM largely centers around two (2) isolated characters, DERWYN, and FFION - all in their early 20's and not in further education. In our narrative, we explore an extraordinary situation that forces themselves to confront themselves and their situation. I grew up and lived on a farm in rural Wales until my early 20s and when I left school in my teens, I had found a lack of social life and opportunity a huge factor. The silly thing is, I was always kind of aware that others felt the same way but that silent stigma of reaching out and having a conversation about it somehow never felt like an option. I've used my own personal background to hopefully help inform and shape the narrative into something authentic, original and PERSONAL.
To me, real-life sits somewhere uncomfortably in the middle of DRAMA and COMEDY– it’s rarely an extreme Drama, nor is it an extreme Comedy, and that’s how I feel about my APPROACH to storytelling and creating a world for fictional characters to reflect that outlook. That’s why Dark Comedy as a subgenre is a medium well placed for allowing these themes to play out. The genre offers the freedom to dip in and out and best reflect the real-life that we’re so familiar with.
I think in the UK in particular, where we’re not an emotionally open nation of people, humour is often the art of personal expression, albeit an expression masked in sarcasm or irony. It’s in our DNA to approach taboo subjects with a nod and a wink first before diving into it, and I think that’s how humour in filmmaking approaches serious matters well.
HUMOUR almost becomes a comfort blanket, something we can hold onto even when things turn uncomfortable. See, humour can connect us all, no matter the subject matter. Done well, it goes after and ridicules FEAR ITSELF.
Our strategy is to adopt a traditional approach to making an independent feature film by making a short version of the film first. Therefore YOUR CONTRIBUTION will fund the SHORT FILM, or what's known in the industry as a PRECURSOR FILM. This short will then be submitted to FESTIVALS WORLDWIDE, and if successful will garner some interest. After the short film will be used to MARKET THE FEATURE through traditional avenues and/or via a steroid-induced CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN. It’ll mean we actually have visual evidence of the PRODUCT FOR AUDIENCES to back in order to entice sponsors and generate press with greater ease and with the time afforded to do so.
We want this film to make REAL CHANGE, starting RIGHT NOW and on into the FUTURE. To show how serious we are, we will be donating part of our proceeds to the DPJ Foundation, a charity committed to supporting people in Wales working within agriculture, dealing with MENTAL HEALTH. This charity not only does fantastic, LIFE CHANGING WORK but also feeds directly into the themes and issues we hope to call to attention with our project.
OUR SHORT-TERM AIM, as previously stated, is to raise awareness around mental health, in particular, hoping to spark conversations amongst younger Welsh generations.
WEST WALES IS THE POOREST REGION IN NORTHERN EUROPE and in desperate need of opportunities for the younger generations, especially within the Arts sector. Starting with Rural Romance, the LONG-TERM AIM for us is to film often in the region providing more opportunity for local trainees, apprentices, local tradesmen, local actors, and crew, all whilst making a product that'll raise awareness and ultimately contribute to the area.
DONATING to the project is just one way to make OUR PROJECT A REALITY. Another way is to SPREAD THE WORD; tag, post online, tell family and friends, text or email. Anything that creates awareness of the film and the issues we stand with goes a long way.
Make sure you follow us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER & INSTAGRAM and when sharing please use the hashtags: #RURALROMANCEFILM #MENTALHEALTHAWARENESS
GLEN GAIR - WRITER/DIRECTOR
A West Wales native, an award-winning writer/director, and an MA Filmmaking graduate at the Northern Film School. Previously he worked in the TV industry, then as a freelance videographer/photographer, along with writing and producing several award-winning short films. His long-term goal is to ensure regular productions occur in West Wales, Northern Europe's Poorest Region, in the hope of revitalising the area and help provide new opportunities to those that live there.
JOSEPH TAPP - PRODUCER
Joe is an award-winning producer and one of Glen's closest collaborators. Based in London, he has worked at top production companies such as Pathe UK and NBC. His most notable achievement is screening at the Camerimage Film Festival, Torun, competing in the prestigious Student etudes awards. He is most interested in films that change audience perception, particularly within minority communities.
ADAM HOLLIN - CINEMATOGRAPHER
Adam Hollin is a Manchester-based cinematographer, specialising in narrative drama films and music videos. His most recent project, I See You, is about to enter the international film circuit. Adam’s films have previously been screened at multiple film festivals worldwide.
HOLLY LEES - PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Holly has worked on a wide variety of productions, from period pieces to modern-day fantasies, to BBC television series such as The War of the Worlds (2019) and Get Even (yet to be released). She’s worked on many award-winning projects, but her crowning achievement has to be, ‘We Are Dancers’ (2019), shortlisted for Best British Short Film in this year’s BAFTAs
DYLAN HOWELL - FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
A Blackpool born filmmaker, Dylan has experience working on independent features, with guerrilla film companies on short documentary shoots and has recently finished some projects with channel 5 and CBBC.
FRANKIE MAIDEN - SOUND
In 2019, Frankie Maiden graduated from the Northern Film School as a specialist in sound for film. Her work in audio has continued through recording and boom operation for various short productions and at JAR Post-production in Manchester.
Our tight-knit crew is made up of award-winning filmmakers and nominees. All of us met at The Northern Film School in Leeds and during our time there were frequent collaborators.
Below are just a few of our achievements so far:
Our short film, IOLYN won best Comedy at Wales International Film Festival 2019 and was considered for this year’s BAFTA CYMRU 2019.
Our PRODUCERs short film, READING GAOL was accepted into the CAMERIMAGE FILM FESTIVAL, TORUN and competed in the prestigious Student etudes category.
Our Production Designer Holly had the role of COSTUME DESIGNER for the short film, WE ARE DANCERS which has seen huge success, nominated for the Irish Prize for BEST BRITISH SHORT, and just recently shortlisted for the BAFTA'S 2020 in the same category.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION will be going towards actually making the film. WHATS INCLUDED; cast pay, accommodation, expenses, and catering, additional equipment such as lenses, hard drives, etc. For other fees, we have to factor in location, art department expenses, insurance, post-picture, festival submissions. Thankfully, we have equipment provided in kind, by ourselves, to ourselves in order to shoot the film. This equipment (camera, lenses, lights, flags, etc) is an investment in ourselves and our future ventures.
With your donations, you are not only donating to a film project or to a BELOVED CHARITY, but you are also investing in our CAREERS as up and coming filmmakers. We don’t ask for a lot in this world, all we ask is to be given the opportunity to create and along with this, inspire, generate AWARENESS and last of all ENTERTAIN.
If you have any QUESTIONS for us, a query about the film, please feel free to message and we will be sure to answer to the best of our abilities.
FOR INQUIRIES ABOUT BECOMING A FINANCIER OF THE FILM, OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE OF OUR WORK, THEN PLEASE SEND EMAILS TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
FANCY SPONSORING THE FILM? GET IN TOUCH.
This is a UNIQUE MARKETING OPPORTUNITY for a business to sponsor a film and future that is not only PROMOTING AWARENESS around an extremely important and topical issue, but a % of your sponsorship will go towards CHARITY. With our SHORT FILM, our objective is to have the film be shown INTERNATIONALLY at film festivals before being accessible through ONLINE STREAMING services such as VIMEO.
The FEATURE FILM that will follow will have a very similar but different trajectory. Our objective is to have the feature shown INTERNATIONALLY at film festivals, entered into FILM MARKETS, and after receive TWO RELEASE WINDOWS - the first a THEATRICAL RELEASE and following that, a DIGITAL RELEASE (SVOD) on platforms such as NETFLIX, AMAZON PRIME, etc.
Since our project is embedded in the beautiful rural landscapes of West Wales, this will undoubtedly generate some interest in the TOURISM SECTOR from audiences. We are also planning on screening the film throughout Wales at everything from THEATRES to community film nights, so there’s also a chance of reaching a more domestic audience too.
What will you get out of it other than the satisfaction of supporting a great cause?
DONATE £250 - You will have your logo and name in the opening credits, the closing credits and on our forthcoming website page. Along with mentions through our social media campaign too.
DONATE £100 - You will get a thank you in the closing credits, your logo, and details on our forthcoming website and mentions in our social media campaign.
One of our sponsors, the Ceridwen Centre, is a multi-award winning eco-sensitive holiday, course, retreat, event and wedding venue on a 40-acre organic farm in the Teifi Valley in West Wales. We can accommodate over 60 people in a variety of comfortable unique spaces all restored, upcycled or made by our local on-site team.
Ask the community
All thats we can ask of the Greenlit family is that you shout and scream about our film!!!
*Talk about our project to friends, family, colleagues, anyone.
*Use social media to help spread the word by hashtaging #RURALROMANCEFILM & of course sharing the following crowdfunding link: https://greenlit.fund/project/rural-romance
*Lastly, does anybody know any festival heads, curators that might be interested in taking our film prior to release?
If you can help, please message Joseph Tapp directly.
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR BACKERS SO FAR!!!
Because of Storm Dennis, our director is busy repairing his family's farm today so here's a quick update from the Producer of #RuralRomanceFilm.