The Year Dot

A heartwarming short film about loneliness and isolation...

Dot (92) is planning an end-of-life party. When lockdown begins and her plans are postponed, her family sends teddies to comfort her. The teddies gradually come to life, if only in Dot’s mind.

raised of £6,000.00 goal
27 Days left
41 Backers
Seeking funding for
Campaign type
Flexible Funding
Support project

    The Year Dot

    Seeking funding for
    Campaign type
    Flexible Funding

    The Year Dot was inspired by my grandma. I cared for her in her last year and became brutally aware of issues I had no pre-conceptions of. I hope that having an elderly protagonist can become a conversation starter for how we consider the elderly in our community. Dot's character is emphasised by the music she loves, her outfits and her growing surreal relationships with her stuffed toys (a metaphorical expression of her state of mind).

    Setting this film during the time of the pandemic, increases the feeling of isolation and gives us two important themes which are constantly competing. The fear of the unknown makes Dot’s quest for validation even more difficult.  We will all be Dot eventually, we just have to hope that the society we live in will be more accommodating.

    The Year Dot needs to be made this year, so that it can stay relevant for years to come. A passionate crew has been formed and any help with funding to make this special project into a short film would be hugely beneficial.

    Thank you.  


    Our fabulous cast (Clockwise from top left):


    Moya Allen - Liv Bergeron and Liv-the-bear

    Blair Plant - Miles Parsons and Miles-the-dog

    Lesley-Anne Webb - Kate Danbury

    Kayley Rainton - Mary Danbury and Mini-Mary

    Carrie Cohen - Ethel

    Verity Joy  - Dot (Dorothy Parsons) 

    Shaila Alvarez - Hanna Cortez

    Jean Cameron - Bobbie Bergeron





    Meet the team bringing Dot to life:


    Writer, Director & Producer

    Eva Wilshere

    Eva Wilshere is a multi-disciplinary creative who is transitioning from factual television into fictional storytelling. Graduating with a distinction in her scriptwriting MA at Falmouth University, Eva is passionate about making her multi-award winning script The Year Dot into a short film. Eva had the chance to work with Ben Pohlman from Pinewoods Studios on this script and meet the wonderful Verity Joy who will take on the role of Dot. 

    Eva has worked in the East Sussex media scene for over a decade. She wrote, produced and directed her first short film Local Girl in 2014 (winner of multiple awards, including Best Director at DreamzCatcher Film Festival) with help from Katherine Shannon as assistant director, who shall be reprising her role on The Year Dot. Eva also worked as 1st AD on Daniel Grasskamp’s first feature film Cat Skin.

    Eva has always been politically minded and uses her creativity to promote social causes. Eva’s full-length documentary Homeless By-The-Sea was appreciated so much by Bill Smith at Latest TV that she was offered her own talk show Eva’s World. Eva is passionate about telling stories featuring relatable, quirky and diverse characters, she wants her work to help others relate to life in a way that film helped her to navigate the world as a neuro-diverse individual.

    Director credits - Eva’s World, Homeless-by-the-Sea and Local Girl



    Producer & Editor 

    Joseph Graham

    Since moving to Brighton at the beginning of 2020, Joseph has been working as a multi-award winning filmmaker, working with clients including YMCA Right Here, Odd Content and BIMM Brighton, as well as local music and poetry artists. They have also begun to expand their work into American productions. Joseph is currently editing a feature film - The Captain, starring Patrick Bergin.

    A jack of all trades, Joseph has worked on various productions as a writer, director, producer, editor, sound editor, director of photography, and has even done some VFX work. Even the pandemic couldn’t stifle their creativity, as they wrote and directed a short comedy film, with remote filming in both the UK and Germany. They have worked with brands including Twitch, IKEA, AudioActive, BIMM, Made to Order Movies, Odd Content, and more.



    1st Assistant Director

    Katherine Shannon

    A 1st AD and award winning writer and Director, Katherine has recently worked for BFI/Mumbai/LA award winning “Queer Parivaar” which represents the LGBTQ+ community, “Re-Shaped” for award winning Director, Stephen Pierre Mitchell, BAFTA Producer, Alex Newland on “Tiny Vessels”, and recent Features including “Dimension Slip” and “Silent Night”, which are available on Netflix and Sky. She was a Consultant on “Mrs Wilson'' for the BBC and Snowed-In Productions, with her cousin, Ruth Wilson.

    She has Produced and Directed award winning films “Tables Turned” and also wrote, “Crisps and Zombies”, which currently has six awards from Hollywood, Paris, Milan and London. She has two comedy series in development and is looking forward to reprising the role of 1st AD on The Year Dot.



    DIrector of Photography

    Oscar Freemantle

    Oscar Freemantle studied Filmmaking as an MA at Sussex University in 2018. He shot several short films during this time, winning awards at film festivals including a gold medal in the Londom  seasonal Short Film Festival. Oscar's passion project, Stepan's Game (Freemantle, 2016), an action/thriller, heavily inspired by Drive (Refn, 2011) and its “faux-80s” style and soundtrack, won awards including official selection at the London International Short Film Festival. There had been issues with the original shoot during his under-grad but Oscar persevered with the project after his final submission. Oscar spent the next 3 years shooting as many films as he could, upgrading his camera again in 2017. 

    Oscar started making films when he was 14 having saved up for over a year to buy his first camcorder. Over the next couple of years he roped in his family, friends and neighbours to act in his films (thoroughly annoying everyone in the process!).Originally hired as 3rd AD on Brighton Wok (Howard, 2008) his hard work, flexibility and eagerness over the 2 years of production and post-production, meant that his camerawork was used throughout the film. Oscar became fascinated by optical lenses, buying dozens of old lenses from Ebay and modifying them while also growing his collection of Contax SLR lenses from the 70s and 80s. He still shoots with these beautiful lenses today. 




    Art Director

    Andrew Kay

    Born in Lancashire, Andrew studied design at Chelsea School of Art and on graduating worked for four major publishing houses for sixteen years and designed literally thousands of book covers.  From there he moved into publicity design and stage design, then into magazines. Most recently he has become a published author of fiction and drama and works in local television as a producer, presenter and art director. His great loves are theatre and cooking, he creates artwork as a means of staying relatively sane.




    Make-up Artist

    Siwan Hill

    Siwan Hill trained in make-up at Greasepaint college in 2010. She spent the next decade putting make-up on people. Notable victims include; Alan Titchfield, Tamsin Greg and Paul Kaye. She has also worked for various well known brands such as Jaguar, Santander and Barclays. In addition to this she has also worked in the art department and costume, including working as the head of department for low budget features.

    Siwan lives in London, she enjoys making things, she doesn't really enjoy talking about herself!





    Aaron McNicholas

    Aaron started composing during his time at University, he has scored several student short films and worked as a sync music composer for RedCat Creative and London Sync. He previously enjoyed success working with Eva on her powerful documentary 'Homeless by the Sea' in 2018. Alongside his passion for orchestral scores, Aaron also produces house music tracks and relishes experimenting with electronic textures.

    Having gathered musical influences from a range of TV and movie composers including Murray Gold, Christophe Beck and Thomas Newman, he is aiming to channel their methods to help bring the complexity of Dot to life musically and cannot wait to be a part of the project.


    We’re delighted to announce our lead actress...


    Verity Joy as Dot


    Verity began performing for fun from a young age and appeared in local shows for many years. She then trained with The Actors Company at The London Centre for Theatre Studies as a mature student. She has also written and directed plays for children to perform in addition to a short film and a fringe theatre production.

    More recently Verity appeared in ‘Moth Hunting’ at The Cockpit Theatre as the mother of two feisty daughters. Like Dot, the character she played had been diagnosed with cancer and was keen to spend time with her family and for them to be supportive of her and each other.

    Verity was also part of the production of ‘Far Away’ at the Donmar Warehouse and has appeared in a variety of films, tv shows, corporate projects and commercials.

    Having helped care for her elderly mother, Verity has seen the vulnerability and bewilderment that can affect the quality of life for a very old person. To portray Dot on screen is both humbling and thought provoking for Verity and she feels honoured to have the opportunity to do so.



    The Story

    Dot  and her daughter Kate discuss plan’s for Dot’s ‘end-of-life’ party. Dot knows she’s terminal and is keen to have one last celebration of her life with all her favourite people, Kate reassures her they will all be there. The news of a national Lockdown puts Dot’s plans on hold. Dot holds on to the hope that she will stay alive long enough for the lockdown to be lifted, to have her party. Over the next few months, some family members call Dot to check in on her and send her teddy-bears. Dot chats absentmindedly to her teddies and as the collection grows so does her reliance on them. Dot sticks a photograph of her late husband on her original bear’s face, chatting away to it. George-the-bear replies and Dot tells him off. 

    It’s raining and cold outside, Dot listens to her son Miles say he is too unwell to visit at the moment, but that he’s sent her a toy dog. Granddaughter Mary calls to check on Dot who’s started looking forward to her party again. A new lockdown is announced on Dot’s television. She speaks to her daughter Liv on the phone about her life in Beijing. Dot thanks Liv for the new teddy which she holds to her chest during the call. The flat is looking rather unkept and the other teddys are out in full force. Dot is in her flat having a blazing row with Liv, it turns out to be Liv-the-bear she’s talking to. Dot realises her end of life party won’t happen this year and squabbles with the bears as if they are family. On Christmas day Dot has a video call with her real family. The connection is spotty and the conversation both difficult and broken. Dot throws the ‘Portal’ to the floor, more frustrated than ever. Dot attempts to take her own life, during a party with her teddy-bears. She slips and falls and is rushed to hospital. 

    Hanna (Dot’s new carer, 40’s) drives Dot back from the hospital. She explains that she’ll come every day from now on. Dot holds the toy dog from Miles and squeezes it hard. Dot holds a party with her bears, including some which have just arrived to join her ever growing ‘family’. They all have photographs of whichever family member sent them (except Miles who is the dog-teddy he gave her!) glued to their faces. When Hanna visits, Dot invites her to join the party.


    The Shoot

    We plan to film in 4 days in early November. Due to Dot's isolation, most of the scenes are in different rooms in her flat. The hardest part will be changing the rooms around to match Dot's mood as it changes during the course of the film. Our set and costume designer will decorate the flat to suit Dot’s style. The only other location is a brief scene in a car and we shall use a stationary car for this.

    The 1st AD, Katherine Shannon and DOP, Oscar Fremantle have both agreed to come on board and share our artistic vision. Aaron McNicholas will make his film debut as composer, along with using music from pre-1940. Siwan Hill is a fantastic makeup artist who can age-up Verity Joy to a 92 years-old.

    The biggest challenge may be the scene in which Dot’s family members appear on her ‘Portal’ - a basic video chat device. Filming the Portal scene with our supporting actors will take preparation and planning to get a good result.


    Environmental Impact 

    To minimise our impact on the environment, we will be using minimal locations, feeding cast and crew with homemade produce grown on my balcony (or delivered in an Oddbox) and we will make sure to recycle everything. There will be no single use plastics on set and all catering will be vegetarian. The props and costumes will be borrowed as much as possible and anything bought will be from charity shops.



    Why we are fundraising

    We believe in paying all of the cast and crew fairly for their hard work and while we have taken steps to ensure no money will be wasted - we have sourced the location, materials and equipment, it takes a great team to make a fantastic film. We've built a brilliant crew and would love to be able to provide travel expenses and accommodation for everyone.

    This funding will enable the film to have high production values, and be the best it can possibly be (including investing in a better wig!). In return for your contribution, we have some fantastic perks, which we hope you’ll enjoy!

    We are extremely grateful to everyone who has backed The Year Dot so far, please continue to invest in us and we shall produce a powerful and heartwarming short film.



    Other ways to support us

    Can you help us spread the word? Please consider sharing this campaign with your friends, family and followers on your social channels. Every mention is a big boost and will allow us to reach more people.


    Thanks for reading

    Huge thanks for taking the time to learn about our film and for considering becoming a part of team Dot. We can't wait for you to join us on our journey to create the film. We appreciate every single one of you.


    We've got a wig! It's natural and style-able and will be a huge improvement from the one we used in the teaser. A huge thanks to Aderans and Trendco for donating this wig, we look forward to crediting you, and hosting you at our cast & crew premiere.

    raised of £6,000.00 goal
    27 Days left
    41 Backers

    Pledge without reward:

    You can make a pledge to support The Year Dot without a reward. The minimum donation is £1.00.
    The Year Dot

    We want everyone who donates to be able to see the film!

    Choose this reward, and when the film is finished you can watch it.

    Shout-out on Social media

    "What on earth are all these coloured symbols all about?" (Dorothy Parsons, aka Dot)

    Don't worry guys, Dot might not know her Twitter from her Skype but we do! And we shall give everyone who helps us tell Dot's story a big shout-out on all the socials!

    Plus you'll get a digital copy/link & password for the film once its made, because we believe that everyone who supports this film should get to see it.

    Poster Child

    "What am I doing on there?" (Dorothy Parsons)
    We've made a poster to tell everyone about Dot's story. With this reward you will get a digital copy of the fabulous original poster for The Year Dot. Along with a shout out and a digital copy of the film so you can see what all the fuss is about!

    To your credit

    "Are these people all coming to visit me?" (Dorothy Parsons)

    Probably not Dot, but they do all care about your story and shall receive a special thanks in the closing credits - which they can watch with whomever comes to visit them!

    Plus, all of the above rewards shall be yours too.

    (20 remaining out of 25)
    Shooting script

    "I am dying you know" (Dorothy Parsons)

    Yes we know Dot, but first we have to bring you to life.
    That started with the script, so you shall receive a PDF of the actual shooting script with this reward, as well as our gratitude and a chance to see the finished film.

    Oh George!

    "Who says I can't have it all?" (Dorothy Parsons)

    With this reward you can - You will receive a special thanks from Dot in our credits, a PDF of the shooting script, plus a digital copy of the finished film and poster.

    (18 remaining out of 20)
    Red Carpet Treatment

    "Do you like parties?" (Dorothy Parsons)

    Of course we do Dot! And when we all meet to celebrate Dot's life, we'd love you to be there.

    You will receive all of the above rewards, plus you'll get an invitation for 2 to the Cast & Crew screening of Dot's glitzy premiere and drinks reception.

    (11 remaining out of 12)
    Skills Workshop

    You receive everything from 'Oh George' plus a two-hour private masterclass with the Writer/Director/Producer. The masterclass can be gifted to anyone you like. Is there someone in your life who’s interested in a career in the industry? The masterclass can be tailored to focus on any aspect of the creative process, such as writing, acting, auditioning, directing and producing. It can be aimed at any age group - DBS covered. (Delivery from February 2023 Online, unless you're based in South East England).

    (3 remaining out of 3)
    Associate Producer

    You shall receive all of the Red Carpet Treatment. Plus you'll be credited as an Associate Producer in the closing credits of the film + IMDB entry.

    (3 remaining out of 4)
    Executive Producer

    You shall receive all of the Red Carpet Treatment. Plus you will be credited as Executive Producer in the closing credits of the film + IMDB entry.

    (3 remaining out of 3)