Homelessness has increased by over 100% in the last five years. Whilst the number of people sleeping on the streets has increased, rents have gone up, housing benefits have been slashed, and fewer homes have been built. Even government funding for homelessness services has been cut by almost 50% since 2010.
We’ve been to many charities and organisations over the last year including Crisis, St Petrock’s and Acting on Impulse to name but a few, interviewing their staff and the people who come to them for help. We’ve also taken to the streets of London, Bristol, Manchester, Exeter and more cities around the UK to talk to rough sleepers about how they became homeless, what life is like on the streets and what people can do to help. The stories we’ve heard have been nothing short of astounding. Personally, they opened my eyes to so much that I never knew, and that I believe more people should hear and understand. These interviews are what have made the film, constructing the narrative and also being used throughout as voiceover.
No one chooses to become homeless. This film, Sleeping Rough, tells the story of three people who each become homeless in unique, real ways, what life is like for them sleeping on the street, as well as how this can be changed. The film is adapted entirely from the interviews held with rough sleepers over the last year; not a single event has been twisted or appropriated. Everything is real.
However, as is always the case, we can’t make this film without your help. We’re asking for £5,000 to cover costs of location, food, travel, equipment and more in order to depict these stories onscreen in the fairest and most effective way we can. We’re also planning to cast homeless, or ex-homeless actors (from organisations we’ve spoken to such as Cardboard Citizens), and we intend to pay them, as well as providing them with basic accommodation and expenses during the shoot. Anything you can donate, from £5 to £100 to £1000 can and will make a difference, and any leftover budget or profit from the film will go straight back into the charities we’ve worked with over the last year.
As thanks for your generosity, we have a range of rewards on offer, including a copy of the finished film, tickets to the screening, and signed photos from the project.
Owain Astles, Director/Producer
Owain is a young filmmaker and director of Pastles Productions, a film production company that aims to make films raising awareness of social and political issues. Previous work includes KiDS, a short film about bullying in schools, Christmas Café, a short about loneliness during the festive season and Rife-commissioned Crisis and Hope, a documentary series about homeless charities in Bristol.
Melita Cameron-Wood, Producer
Melita’s past experience includes pre-programming and research at Cinegraph and marketing and social media at Crossing The Screen International Film Festival. She founded the International Film Society at the University of Oxford and was an active member of OUDS and Oxide radio. She also spent several months working in a community theatre (Alarm Theater) which led dramatic projects based on real life experiences with refugees, prison inmates and members of the public.
Rupert Cole, Composer
Rupert graduated from the University of Bristol with first class honours in Music in 2014 and has since worked on soundtracks for film, television and video games as a composer, producer and sound designer. Films he has scored have been shown at festivals across the world – in the UK, Italy, Canada, USA and Australia. Rupert’s experience covers a variety of music genres from orchestral to electronic. He has an expert understanding of a soundtrack’s role in documentary making, having worked with composer Dan Jones on Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie.
Ken Abbott, Photographer
Ken is a documentary photographer based near Bristol. His speciality is fly on the wall photography where the images tell a story. For the last 2 years he has been working on a project that focuses on the theatre and what goes on behind the scenes when putting on a production. Images from this project were the subject of an exhibition in Bath and the end of September 2016. After the theatre project Ken was looking for something completely different to get involved with, something that could make a difference socially, and thus found Sleeping Rough the perfect fit.
Homelessness continues to rise, and something needs to be done; we’re hoping that, at some level, we can make that change, but only with your help. Thank you.