Smile, starring the great talents of Sue Vincent and Catrin Stewart, is about a woman in her fifties who has to navigate her way through a sexual assault, corrosive everyday sexism, and how in the end, she learns to fight back.
Smile is about how damaging society can be for women, how this is not a story out of the ordinary, it's very much something women have to put up with everyday. We're hoping, with this film, to raise awareness and keep the discussion on difficult topics like these going.
Starring Sue Vincent
Sue was drawn to the project because of its urgency and authenticity. It also resonated with her as she has done a lot of work with a women's shelter in north London and has also had her own experiences with sexual harassment. After speaking with Jo, the director, it became clear that they needed to make this film together, that this film needs to be made and needs to be seen.
TONE / VISION
The visual approach has been inspired by such films as Sicario, Nomadland and We Need To Talk About Kevin. Sicario and Nomadland, particularly, for their use of POV to tell the story very specifically from their main characters viewpoints, so we experience as they experience. Interpretation through character is very important for this film, due to the nature of assault, and the ongoing debates of the he said/she said argument.
We Need To Talk About Kevin is also heavily focused through the main character's point of view, but it also uses flashback and specific camera styles to externalise the character's interior world, in a way that engages the audience without having to lean into dialogue; which is again something we've been inspired by for this film.
HEADS OF DEPARTMENT
Katy Mendo / Producer: Katy is a Second Assistant Director working on such shows as Willow, A Discovery of Witches, His Dark Materials and Sex Education. This is her first film as a Producer.
Jo Smyth Writer/Director: Jo's short form work (three films and two web series) has won several awards, with two having had development interest. She is also an Editor for television drama (His Dark Materials / A Discovery of Witches / Ordeal By Innocence). Jo writes character driven drama based on her own experiences, with the focus of telling story authentically through her characters.
For examples of work and her latest piece 'The Walk' please go to: www.captainhowdyfilms.com
Daniel Taylor / Production Designer: Daniel Taylor is one of the brightest and best young production designers today having designed Sam Mendes' Britannia, and both of Matthew Vaughn's latest films; Tetris and Argyle.
Aaron Adrian Rogers / Director of Photography: Aaron has just finished on the HBO Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon as Second Unit DoP / B Camera Operator, and has had huge success with such short films as Pommel and Pollution of the Heart, among many others.
Fin Oates / Editor: Fin is known for choosing projects that centre around female protagonists and female driven drama such as Chloe, I Hate Suzie and the current project she's editing is created and written by Sharon Horgan.