It’s 2018 now so it feels like a good time to write an update on what’s going on with my life, Sleeping Rough, Pastles, and a few recent memories.
It’s been one of my busiest ever Christmases (it seems like they get busier every year), both in personal and professional life. I was on a plane I think seven times throughout December, flying to and from different events and my job in Barcelona, and the whole month merged into a blur of old and new mates, different languages, handshakes and coffees, and constant editing.
It’s looking to be an exciting 2018 for my company, Pastles Productions; we’ve just partnered with Bristol Works, to provide employment opportunities and careers advice to young and disadvantaged people around Bristol, which is extremely exciting; representing disadvantaged communities and offering young people a step up into the industry have always been right at the core of what we do, and I feel privileged to be able to take on this responsibility. We also screened The Hardest Fight at Exeter Phoenix’s Two Short Nights Film Festival at the beginning of December, and have more festival screenings coming up next year.
A video we did with Off The Record Bristol has just launched (and you can watch it below!). We had such a great time working with on this video, and it’s exactly the kind of work Pastles is all about; OTR are a mental health social movement by and for young people in Bristol, and they have one of the most welcoming and friendly teams we’ve ever worked with; we had an absolute blast making this one, and would love for you guys to give it a watch.
Finally, I can’t disclose too much on this just yet, but we have a very exciting short in the works, shining a light on an issue that most people wouldn’t believe still exists; modern slavery. We’re going to be working with the Salvation Army and some other organisations (like I said, I can’t disclose too much) on this, so keep your eyes peeled.
In December, I visited London to see some old friends, and I was lucky enough to be invited to Festival Formula‘s Christmas Party, where I got the chance to meet so many talented people working in the film industry (this is always a bittersweet experience; it’s inspiring to hear about the amazing work people are doing and to connect with them, but it does remind you just how saturated the industry is, and how difficult it is to stand out; it was also bittersweet because my beloved Man United lost to Man City the night before).
Now, what about Sleeping Rough? My god, two years on and this film is still taking over my life. In December I had to go through hours and hours of interviews, cutting out snippets and working them into the film, and tweaking the edit ready for our cast and crew screenings this month. It’s been such a slog, but it really is what I love doing, and I’m so lucky to actually work doing what I love. Like I said, we’ve got cast and crew screenings this month in London and Bristol, and we’re going to have updates coming from those events, so stay tuned. I was also really lucky to be invited to talk on BCFm, Bristol’s regional radio show, about Sleeping Rough and homelessness in Bristol and around the UK. You can hear the episode here (it’s the 09:00 episode, 04/01/2018).
We also can’t wait until Bristol Homeless Awareness Week; we’ve been working closely with Bristol Homeless Forum on organising events for the week, and how to raise awareness of all the events that will be going on. It’ll also be our first ever public screening of Sleeping Rough, and we really do hope that we’ll be able to connect with the local community and inspire people to get involved and do what they can to help. You can keep up to date with the week right here: www.bristolhf.org.uk/home-page/upcoming-events.
If you’ve got this far in the post, I’d also be honoured if you’d take a look at the new website launched by Bristol Homeless Connect: www.bristolhomelessconnect.com. We’ve been lucky enough to see this in various stages of development, and if you want to help alleviate homelessness in Bristol, or if you might be at risk of homelessness yourself, this website is the place to start.
Finally, 2017 ended on a high note, when me and my mates went down to Cornwall for New Year’s Eve. There was no better place to end the year than by the beach, drowsy from too many beers, and surrounded by my best mates.
Happy 2018 everyone; I’m excited for a fresh year, and whatever 2017 threw at you, you made it this far, so I hope you’re excited too.