There Is Not A Going Back
Alma, a Filipino nurse in London, is struggling to find home in a new city. Narrated by missed voicemails between her and her mum back home in Manila, we watch as she explores the city alone.
It will be directed by Filipina director Sofia del Carmen and produced by A LOOK INTO, a production company that focuses on current social affairs through the arts.
There Is Not A Going Back
THERE IS NOT A GOING BACK
Alma, a Filipino nurse in London, responds to a missed phone call from her mother Nanay in the Philippines, in the midst of her journey back from the hospital in a new city.
It's almost Christmas, Alma is on her way home from work with a missed call from her mother Nanay. She listens to it as she goes about her night from cooking dinner to exploring the city alone. Alma can't seem to reach her mother on the phone, and leaves her a voice message in exchange. Their series of missed calls eventually overlap each other as though they're speaking directly to each other while London's night begins to be Manila's day.
We are aiming to raise £2000 through crowdfunding to make this film, with 10% of profits raised going to the charity Kanlungan, a non-profit organisation empowering Filipino, East and Southeast Asian Migrants across the UK.
This film draws a lot from my personal struggle of seeking a sense of belonging between two places in which I feel like I don't belong. Exploring the dualities of identity and longing through the scope of growing up in the post-colonial Philippines I've found that the only true anchor I have is with my family. This has been made much more difficult due to the fact that I, like Alma, have not seen my own mother in a long time. I understand that within my position and limitations that to soothe this restlessness and cognitive dissonance is through constantly finding, losing and finding again is a sense of stillness, acceptance, and equanimity to be able to ground myself, much like what Alma finds at the films conclusion.
- Sofia del Carmen
The purpose of this film is to capture the struggle of finding belonging.The use of mixed digital media, non-linear editing, and a shared auditory diegesis between London and Manila, will work together to blend the two cities and the mother and daughter voices. To capture the sense of cognitive dissonance and the double edged sword of longing.
There are not many films that feature the Filipino diaspora, especially migrant workers, coming out of London. We want to make a film that is representative of the feeling of displacement in a city that is not your own, that you are trying to make home. However, we don’t want to make this story about Alma’s struggle as a migrant worker, but reflect on the longing for home that comes from moving to a new city that doesn’t quite live up to expectations, from somewhere that is worlds away.
We will be filming on location across London, capturing the city from Alma’s eyes. Our crew is small but mighty, operating almost like a documentary. We believe that to tell Alma’s story, who the crew are is really important, so we have collected a team who care just as much as the writer about how Alma is presented, and what she symbolises.
This film is produced by A LOOK INTO, a politically focused production company aiming to shed light on current social affairs through the arts and eyes of young people.
Below is our wonderful crew, who have all worked so hard to get the film to this point.
Sofia del Carmen
Sofia grew up in Manila, Japan and South Korea before moving to London to study film. They’re drawn to films without grand resolutions, driven by a character's inner conflict.
Her last two films have been a Quarterfinalist at London International Screenwriting Festival, Quarterfinalist at Cornwall Film Festival, Selected at Last Frame Film Festival, QueerBee Film Festival and Ealing Film Festival.
Sofia enjoys the sun and eating sour candy.
A producer born and raised in London and co-founder of A LOOK INTO, a politically focused production company focusing on current social and political affairs through the arts.
Ophelia is a professional over-thinker and won't stop until she's over-thought every stage of production. Her aim is to make sure everyone comes away from set happy, and confident they’ve done the best that they can.
Ophelia’s work spans from fashion films, documentaries, music videos and advertising, but fiction has always been her first love.
A director of photography born and raised in China, came to London and is keen to form his characteristic style through working with other fantastic filmmakers.
Limon is also the director and producer with shooting experience for multiple channels, including film, television, concert, and advertisement. Able to work with virtually any filming device, keen to make a variety of visual art forms.
If there is no light in the world, he wishes he could light a candle and start rolling his camera to record "the brightest light in the darkest night".
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Stephanie is a filmmaker and director of photography.
She has always been drawn to films that particularly explore themes of memory and grief, and continues to be interested in how the ‘female gaze’ can function within her own work.
She is part Chinese, Filipino and French, and has a corgi named Lily whom she loves and misses very much. In her free time, she especially enjoys bopping to ‘deep house’ and or some funky jazz.
Leanna came across the pond from the state that brought you ‘Country Roads’ to study her love of art, design, and film. She has worked on several short films in and outside of school as production designer or art assistant.
Her favourite part of the process is designing and building sets and sourcing weird and unique props.
When she’s not browsing Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace for good deals on props, Leanna spends her time showing people photos of her cat Gary.
Born in Poland, Kalina came to London to study film and in search of whatever she would like to do in her future. She fell in love with sound design and since then she's been working as a sound designer, recordist, and Foley artist on student films and outside projects.
In her free time, she enjoys going down a rabbit hole of movie soundtracks and running around recording the sounds of kettles.
One day she will buy a boat and sail away straight to the Bermuda Triangle and then, only sound will remain.
Ana was born in Bucharest, Romania and has moved to London to explore her love for film. She is an editor, currently learning to expand her practice with visual effects and digital art.
Experimental cinema and docu-fictions are her main interests, while her work also includes fashion films. She is always excited to discover unconventional methods of storytelling through post-production.
Ana has a soft spot for designing a quirky credits sequence.
A LOOK INTO is a West London based production company started by Ophelia O'Sullivan and Asia Ahmed. It aims to explore politics, culture and social affairs, showcasing young peoples voices in varying formats.
Our work ranges from documentaries, experimental films, fashion films, publications and photography series. It was born out of the desire to create a more community minded and diverse film industry, so our work always aims to share under represented stories through whatever format that may take. We run community film workshops, and have a studio space that we offer for free for up and coming creatives.
There Is Not A Going Back is our first fiction film, a format that is incredibly hard to get funding for. So, we will be fundraising £2k of our budget through greenlit, and are offering some pretty nice gifts in return. Honestly, every little helps, so we welcome donations of any size. We just really want to make this film!
If you'd like to see more of our work, head to alookinto.co.uk
This is a chart to show you how the money we raise will be spent! We will be filming across London on locations, as well as in an iconic red London Bus, seeing the city through Alma's eyes. Permits are expensive, so do to this properly, and not get in trouble with the council, we will need the budget for licenses.
Crew & Cast expenses cover payment and food so filming this can be an enjoyable experience for everybody.
Our film features lots of souvenirs from the Philippines, as well as a convincing nurses uniform.
Whilst we are doing this on a small budget, we still want to ensure the highest production value for our film as possible, so the camera team have large portion of the budget to make sure everything is looking cinematic.
£10 - With Love From Manila & London
You will receive a signed postcard with photography from our director & producer.
£15 - There Is Not A Going Back Film Poster
You will receive an A3 film poster designed by our director of photography.
£20 - Zine
You will receive a zine created by our director in the theme of the film. With BTS photography, script segments and more.
£25 - Private Screening & Filipino Food
With £25 you can come to a private screening of our film as soon as it's finished at the A LOOK INTO studios on the 18th of May 2022. You will receive a postcard, poster as well as yummy Filipino food to nibble on whilst we watch the final film.
A signed copy of the poster, postcard and zine!
£50 - Balikbayan Box
A Balikbayan box is a box filled with food, necessities and gifts, sent or brought by a Filipino who lives abroad to family and friends in the Philippines. Get your very own filled with treats, just like Alma does in the film.
If you pledge £500 (a big thank you if you do) you will receive an executive producer credit on the film, as well as a credit listing on IMDB.
If you have gotten this far thank you for reading, and if you have donated, an even bigger one! We really appreciate your support, and your donations means we are one step closer to making this film. Its a story that we believe needs to be told. We are currently in pre-production and ready to film in March, but we just need this last push to ensure we have our budget.
With your help we are bringing this vision to life, and getting the chance as young filmmakers to practice our craft!
Lots of love,
the There Is Not A Going Back crew x