Watershed...

For weeks now I’ve tried to settle in my shed to complete the screenplay for Tilo in Real Life only to be distracted by the ongoing business of Voyageuse. This week proved no different. On Wednesday – Halloween – I travelled to Bristol where the film was scheduled to screen at the Watershed followed by a Q&A.

En route, I received the news that V. has been nominated for the Discovery Award at this year’s BIFAs – the British Independent Film Awards. A few months ago, out of the blue I received a call from BIFA asking if I’d care to submit. After perusing the various categories I decided the Discovery Award was my only shot, thinking – somewhat glumly – that a film with as many festival rejections as V didn’t stand much of a chance. For once I’m glad to be proved wrong.

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To the Light House...

I’ve just returned from Dublin after a wonderful and well-received screening of Voyageuse at the Light House cinema, thanks to the Glasgow Film Festival, the Dublin Film Festival and the Scottish Government office in Ireland. It was also great to spend time with Douglas King and Darren Osborne, the director and actor/production designer of Super November, a film that also screened at the GFF earlier this year which I’m looking forward to when it plays in Glasgow – when else – this November.

What our two films share in common is they’re both self-funded, made on what the industry calls a micro-budget. Both films have proved popular with audiences too. That we received the warmest of welcomes in Dublin couldn’t be more of a contrast to how overlooked we are at home.

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Im wirklichen Leben...

While I look forward to screening Voyageuse in Dublin and Bristol in the coming weeks, I’m also aware – if sad – that it’s probably the last time the film will appear on the big screen. I’ve concluded that, for the moment at least, the effort needed to promote the film is outweighed by my need to focus on a new project.

Time has a way of slipping, unannounced, into the future. This is especially true amid the current pre-Brexit uncertainty because who knows where any of us will be by April 2019? Three weeks ago, my husband, Owen signed us up for a 16-week course in German at the Goethe Institute in Glasgow. His motive, informed partly by his attempt to gain German citizenship through his maternal grandfather, he knows is well-intentioned but unlikely to succeed. The other reason for improving our German will, I hope, prove more practical in the near future.

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OMG!...

I’m writing this in my shed, the place I retreat to when trying to work. On the wall in front of me is a series of index cards as I plot out my next film, Tilo In Real Life, an urban fairytale that I intend to shoot over the coming months. Strange to think that this is where I wrote Voyageuse a few years ago, not knowing if I would ever make the film.

So when I heard the news yesterday that Siân Phillips has received a nomination for Best Actress (Film) in the BAFTA Scotland Awards, I sat in my usual chair, pleased in the knowledge that not only did I make V but that it’s given pleasure to a lot of people and gained recognition from my peers, many of whom wish me well though some, I’m sure, are perplexed by my no-budget, outlier movie.

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