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5 Questions with Director Lewis Rose

"It's good to be mindful that everyone might not be functioning at 100% right now, and that self care is more important than ever - something our industry often forgets."

Lewis Rose is an award-winning London-based writer, director and occasional actor. His fiction work has screened at festivals across the world including Palm Springs, BFI London and many others. He has also made numerous music videos, content for prominent broadcasters and commercial films for high profile companies. He has recently received development funding for his first feature film.

How do you see the industry in 6 months? Where do you see yourself in 6 months?

LR: In the UK production is starting up again which is great. I think there's a real hunger to get projects underway which have been on hold - this is much more doable for big productions who can pull out all the stops to ensure they're covid safe. My fear is that it will be harder for independent films to find financing with the risks associated with covid, such as having to pause productions at any given time if there's an outbreak on set or in then country, which would be financially crippling in the low-budget world. From my perspective, we were due to shoot my latest short in June and have now postponed to October. I was initially apprehensive about certain elements like persuading cast to come on board or securing locations, however these have both been relatively straightforward which has given me great hope. I think there's a feeling that everyone in the industry wants to go back to work, and will do what's necessary to make that happen. So I'm cautiously optimistic that in 6 months time things will be chugging along and filming under covid provisions will be seen as normal as opposed to a barrier. And hopefully we'll get a vaccine so we can all hug again when we wrap - I really miss that!!

Often positive changes can arise from hardship, What would you like to see come out of 2020?

LR: One thing that's really stood out to me is how much people have been checking in on each others' mental health. Often there's an inclination to put on a brave front, particularly in working environments. But during this I feel many businesses have been much more understanding about what people are dealing with, perhaps because everyone is going something. It's good to be mindful that everyone might not be functioning at 100% right now, and that self care is more important than ever - something our industry often forgets. Hopefully some of this can be taken forward and we can all cut ourselves and each other a bit more slack. 

What have you been doing to stay creative?

LR: During lockdown I started a new feature so that has been keeping me nicely busy and inspired. Productivity ebbs and flows at times (particularly as we have a 5 month old baby at home!) but I've really enjoyed being able to immerse myself in the writing in a way that I'm not always able to in normal times. I've also been doing a lot of cooking, which is another big passion of mine - I've been perfecting my homemade bagel recipe and I'm glad to say the chewiness factor is improving by the week!

Do you have any upcoming projects?

LR: Yes! I've got a new short shooting in October called 'Pops' It's a comedy drama about a feud between two siblings in the wake of their elderly Jewish father’s death,over whether to fulfil his eccentric last requests. It's been in the works for a fair while so I can't wait to make it. It's produced by Bridgeway Films and Salaud Morisset, and will be hitting screens next year!

Who is someone who is doing something you love right now and why?

LR: This week I've been watching This Country. A BBC comedy set in rural England about two (very immature) cousins, starring and written by Daisy May and Charlie Cooper. It manages to make stories and jokes out of the smallest moments, really mining the slice of life village world it's set in. It also packs a deceiving emotional punch at times, perhaps because they're so often focusing on the minutiae of these characters lives, they feel much more real so you feel their problems more keenly.

Look out for his short "The Chop" in our shorts program this fall at Toronto Food Film Fest. Oct 16-25th, 2020.


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