Santi is an upcoming 10-minute proof-of-concept short film written and to be directed by Harry Richards. With the endorsement of a Medellín-based production company, a huge creative input from London's Colombian community and many Spanish-speaking cast and crew members, Santi seeks to reflect on a Colombian immigrant's experience of middle-class London.
After six months of planning, we are delighted to present plans for this 10-minute short drama written and directed by Harry Richards. This is a collaboration between the UK and Colombia to tell a story that brings to light the rarely talked about tribulations of Latin Americans arriving in London.
This short film is a proof-of-concept for a longer 90-minute feature film based on the same topic. Your financial contribution to the production of this short will ensure your involvement in the longer trajectory of the Santi project from the outset. We believe that Santi has a lot of potential and we want you to share this journey with us.
All contributions received once we have reached our initial £7,500 target will go towards the development of the feature film.
Filming will take place over one weekend in June 2021 in Archway, London.
Our film is about a young Colombian man who receives a voice message from home while grappling with cultural differences at a London dinner party with his new English girlfriend.
Santi, a 23-year-old Colombian man has been invited by his girlfriend, Violet, to a dinner party at her friend’s London flat. Santi has recently emigrated from a rural Colombian village called Ocaña and attempts to navigate this bizarre, wealthy microcosm in which everything from the architecture of the flat to the humour of the guests seems alien. He struggles to orientate himself amongst the foreign English etiquette and casual cultural micro aggressions as he searches for a private corner of the flat to listen to a voice message from his mother back home.
Santi is shocked by the guests’ casual cocaine usage, a usage that has had a devastating impact on his country’s history and as a result is rejected by many young people living in rural Colombia. Much of the behaviour that would seem relatively unsurprising to a UK audience is incomprehensible to Santi. He struggles to communicate his discomfort to Violet and is faced with the choice of whether to assimilate with or reject the surroundings so familiar to his girlfriend.
The stability of their relationship is challenged by such cultural conflict and it is only worsened as Santi becomes suspicious of Violet’s secretive smiling at her phone throughout the evening. While Santi realises where his attitudes stand in relation to this alien new culture, the audience's own comfort zones are challenged.
This brief glimpse into Santi’s life concludes with him finally finding somewhere quiet to listen to what his mother and family have sent him. We question if it is necessary sometimes to be a foreigner in order to successfully revaluate what it means to be a local. The familiar cacophony of Santi’s lively home life 5,000 miles away puts him at ease in such an alien environment and his mother’s words reveal a comforting fact about the two most important women in Santi's life.
THE COLOMBIAN VOICE
We have the passionate engagement of two wonderful Colombian Executive Producers, Marvin Vivas and David Sierra Márquez, who have shared very similar real-life experiences with Santi, along with endorsement from a Medellin-based production company, SentARTE, that focuses on amplifying Colombian voices through audio-visual means. SentARTE have very excitingly recently read-through the Santi screenplay in their headquarters in Medellín, Colombia.
We have also approached numerous members of the Colombian community in London in areas such as Brixton and Elephant and Castle with large Colombian populations and requested they fill out a feedback form after reading the screenplay. This form asks questions such as ‘how could the content of this film better represent your minority?’ and "could you suggest a way in which this film is distributed to benefit your community?" – as a result, the screenplay and the goals of this project have been greatly informed by this feedback from Colombian voices. 7.5% of all of our funds go to Latin Elephant, a London-based charity that promotes alternative and innovative ways of including Latin immigrant groups into the process of urban change in London.
This project is infinitely important as it is the only project of its kind – the direct voice of Colombian immigrants living in our wonderful city has been channeled into this screenplay, rendering it a powerful and pertinent piece of cinema for social change. Upon its distribution, we have allocated a significant portion of our budget to festival entry fees in both Latin America and the UK. We believe in the importance of getting this film seen by as many people as possible. Our main aim is to introduce as many audiences of all kinds to Santi and thus expand the on-screen presence of Latin Americans living in London.
An emerging narrative film writer and director who has made two short films so far, ‘Glass People’ (2019) and ‘Year 13’ (2016). During his time studying Spanish and History at Edinburgh University, Harry spent a year living in South America, six months of which were spent living in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital. He worked for the newspaper, El Tiempo, and produced a travel video series for their website. Following his return from South America, Harry has written a ninety-minute feature film set in Colombia and the UK, which he intends to make in the next couple of years with the support of Colombian and British production companies. ‘Santi’ will be his third short film and act as a proof of concept for the feature project.
An English filmmaker/producer based in the UK. This will be the second film that Stan has worked on. Stan is a member of the National Youth theatre and has directed/produced many projects. He is passionate about running a dynamic and efficient team that is engaged in the project. He enjoys facilitating the creation of an idea into a finished and polished short that can be taken to film festivals and enjoyed by many. Stan has been very careful in ensuring that the film has a balance of Colombian and English voices, both behind and in front of the camera, to render the final product authentic and honest.
A bilingual Civil Engineer from Cúcuta, a city on the border with Venezuela, Northeast Colombia. He studied in Medellín, where he met his girlfriend Natasha almost two years ago, one of Harry’s best friends. He arrived in London in February 2020, just before the first lockdown, and spent more than 8 months in the UK looking for a job. He became involved in this film when the Director first interviewed him, encouraging him to reflect on his own experiences of the UK for storyboarding. After also being part of the audition process, he was invited to be an Executive Producer with his main responsibility being to add Colombianisms to the film, making it more realistic and authentic.
A filmmaker from Medellín, based between Edinburgh and Colombia. With years’ experience living in the UK, he’s a perfect fit for this project, with a deep understanding of the story behind the production. David loves the creative process of every film he collaborates on, especially those which involve history, global relationships, and cultural diversity.
First Assistant Director
British-Colombian and super proud of her mixed heritage. She currently works as a researcher in TV and hopes she can contribute both her production experience and passion for Colombia in order to challenge stereotypes and highlight the country’s vibrant culture. Her ambition is to eventually work in documentary filmmaking.
Phoebe grew up in London, where she now works as an architectural assistant. She studied architecture at Cambridge, but has always been interested in filmmaking. Whilst studying she found time to design sets for theatre productions as well as being a member of Cambridge Short Film Society. Although she has not taken the role of Production Designer before, she intends to make this the first project in an established future career.
Director of Photography
A London based DoP, director and editor. He self-taught camera operating and editing, and read English literature at university to deepen his understanding of storytelling. Oscar now directs and self-shoots music videos, commercial and narrative work, and works freelance as a DoP and editor. His recent work includes videography for the National Army Museum, and content for artists such as Rina Sawayama and Oscar Lang on record label Dirty Hit. Oscar joined the Santi team through a connection with Harry and is the Director of Photography on the film.
Recording all the dialogue on set and is adding all of the foley in post-production, Raf is really excited to be working on this project, as the cast and crew is full of talented and enthusiastic people who have a shared love of film. He is excited to bring his experience as a Sound Designer from his time at university, and can’t wait to share what he has been working on at Santi.
Second Assistant Director
A filmmaker and actor, fresh out of the University of Bristol. Seb's role on this project is the 2nd Assistant director, as he rehearses and leads the background scenes of the film. He is excited to work with such a talented group of actors to bring a realism and energy to a dinner party setting.
Attracted to the way the film investigates how environment influences identity, Matilda will be taking a lot of inspiration from transcendental cinema in editing this project; making use of long shots, space and pauses. Matilda’s role is sewing all of the work that the team has created to serve our vision and bring her own creativity to the table.
Charlie has been running freelance for the last two years and writing and directing his own projects in between that. He was introduced to Harry through a mutual friend and they quickly connected on their love of film, then a bit later Harry pitched Santi to Charlie. He is excited to now be on board to help bring Santi to life and ensure we cover and shoot all the material needed for the edit!
Jon was born in London to South American parents and lived some of his childhood in Colombia where he learned the language, the culture and the way of life. At 16 he was cast as the antagonist in Jonathan Harvey's: 'Tomorrow I'll Be Happy’. Going on to perform at The National Theatre for Connections 2013, this experience only added to his burning desire for performance and storytelling. Jon is very excited and committed to bring the role of Santi to life on screen for audiences worldwide to understand one of the many stories Colombian’s live when leaving their home for the first time.
Zulekha is an up-and-coming leading lady based in London, UK. Zulekha plays the lead role, of American police detective Jean, in feature film 'Outwitting the Devil', based on Napoleon Hill’s novel of the same name and due for release in 2021. Zulekha also plays the leading role, of Hollywood star Jasmine Dean, in feature film 'Upon The Edge', due for release in 2021. Zulekha was first drawn to the role of Violet in this Short Film 'Santi' for the interesting storyline and the fact that Violet is a powerful presence, being a woman, a boss and a lover. She looks forward to bringing the role of Violet to life.
Jack was raised bilingual in southern Spain and trained at Drama Studio London. Jack is looking forward to portraying Will in a film that boldly highlights the privilege and hypocrisy of many young Westerners. Film credits include Upon the Edge (dir. Timothy Reynard) and Interrail (dir. Fernando Garcia-Ruiz). Theatre credits include Romeo in Romeo & Juliet (Globe Theatre Rome) and Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew (Sh!tfaced Shakespeare).
Holly is an actress hailing from South West London. Having previously studied at Drama Centre and the University of Bristol, she is currently completing training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Holly has worked on various short films and is eager to be involved with a project that explores such pertinent contemporary issues.
Oliver is a London-based actor who finished his studies at Identity School Of Acting, his first Lead role was of BFI Future Film Festival's Award winning short - FALSE MEN. He is much looking forward to the cheeky role of Luke!
Joe is a 22-year-old British-Asian actor from Winchester, Hampshire and became involved with SANTI after auditioning in London earlier this year. Joe has had some past experience with film when he was younger such as a minor role in the feature film Reuniting the Rubins, by Yoav Factor, and a CBBC pilot episode. Having visited Colombia in 2018 on an academic exchange programme and gaining an insight into Colombian history and culture while studying there, he feels passionate about bringing this film to life.
OTHER CAST & CREW MEMBERS:
We are delighted to also have Lizzie Connick, playing the part of Lizzie, and Amelia Gabriel, playing the part of Kate.
In order to produce the short, there is a cost of £7,500. This pays for the equipment and resources required to ensure that the production value is high enough for our film to be taken seriously at major British and Colombian film festivals in the spring. Your financial contribution will go towards the production, post-production and distribution costs.
All extra funds acquired will go towards the early stages of development for the feature film. This will include the hire of a professional development editor to bring our feature script up to industry standard and the payment of a pitch consultant to help attract major film financiers to the project.
PRODUCTION - 59 %
DISTRIBUTION - 24%
POST-PRODUCTION - 17%
Camera/Lighting/Grip Kit Rental - 32%
Cast - 22%
Location Rental - 16%
Sound Kit Rental - 14%
Catering - 7%
Travel Expenses - 4%
Costume & Props - 3%
COVID-19 Equipment - 2%
Editor - 90%
Hard Drive Rental - 6%
Royalties - 4%
Festival Submission - 87%
Digital Cinema Package - 13%
7.5% of the first £5,000 raised will go to Latin Elephant, a London-based charity that promotes alternative and innovative ways of including Latin immigrant groups into the process of urban change in London.
Shooting a short film during a pandemic is no easy feat. That is why we have taken the upmost precaution to ensure that our set will be a safe and hygienic space for our cast and crew. Following government COVID-19 guidance for film crews operating during the pandemic, we have drawn up risk assessments in liaison with our brilliant COVID-19 supervisor who has worked with Health and Safety on the BBC for over 20 years. We will, of course, be abiding by strict, industry-standard measures in order to decrease the risk of the spread of COVID-19 on set. They include but are not limited to: lateral flow Coronavirus testing of all cast and crew, mask wearing, rigorous social distancing, one-way systems, separately distributed refreshments, frequent sanitation of all surfaces/equipment and regular temperature checks.
We are also ambitious in our turnaround for shooting. We aim to complete the whole shoot in one weekend. After a set dress, the first day will be an intense rehearsal day with core members, and the second day will be our shoot day in which we shoot all of the material we require. In order that this tight opportunity is successful, we have meticulously storyboarded and drawn up detailed call lists and shooting schedules. We will have also visited our locations on multiple occasions in order to best familiarise ourselves with the environment in which we will work. We have left ourselves ample time to prepare ourselves for February so that we can really make Santi work.