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END-O is a bold and challenging comedy about a woman living with Endometriosis. This is a condition that affects many women across the world but remains drastically under-researched and discussed.
This project is being made with the support of the National Film and Television School (NFTS), one of the world’s leading film schools. The NFTS and Kickstarter have launched NFTS Platform!, a new initiative to support the next generation of NFTS filmmakers to make ambitious short film projects outside of the curriculum. End-O has been selected as one of the first projects.
1. a condition in which tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus (the "endometrium") is found outside the uterus. Symptoms include painful periods, painful ovulation, pain during or after sexual intercourse, heavy bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, fatigue and infertility.
Important note: Hysterectomy is not a cure.
comedy [kɒmɪdi/] noun
1. a short film called "END-O" written by Elaine Gracie, directed by Alice Seabright and produced by Kate Phibbs and Alexandra Blue.
Do you know what endometriosis is? Maybe a little. Do you want to know more about it? You probably think that you don’t, but that’s where you are wrong! Because this is a comedy about endometriosis. If you were going to read about endometriosis on Wikipedia, it would be a bit like eating bran. But watching Endo the short film, that will be like eating fruit loops! Or pancakes. Or a giant buffet of breakfast deliciousness. The point is – you’re going enjoy it AND LEARN SOMETHING!
Most people haven't heard of the condition (as it only affects women - and when has the state of your periods ever been considered polite dinner conversation?) But the current lack of general awareness is a real kicker if you have to take a week off work because you can’t stand upright without being in agony and/or are unspeakably antisocial during certain movements of the moon (one’s menstrual cycle, you understand) and everyone thinks you’re either deeply mercurial or an alopecia inflicted she-wolf. You may be a she-wolf (cool), but maybe you also have endometriosis, and although there’s no getting away from the fact it’s pretty gross (it is, and sticking it in hot pants and taking it roller-skating to buy some tampons would be deeply disingenuous) that doesn’t mean it’s something to be ashamed of or indeed, unmentionable. It’s an incredibly painful tissue disorder that affects 1/10 women and can make sex almost impossible; we should all know more about it.
Elaine (Writer) has Endo. Elaine told Alice (Director) and Alex (Producer) and Kate (Producer) about her Endo. And about the fact that her Endo honestly wants her to stay celibate – which is not okay. And now we are making a film about it! Largely because we were outraged, but also because Elaine managed to make it highly amusing. So now you can hear Elaine’s story too.
Elaine is angry. But she also wants to have sex. This should be relatively straightforward - angry sex is one of the pre-approved genres for copulation (hate-sex, pity-sex, break-up sex etc) - and to her credit she manages it. But her body is out to sabotage her coitus in the worst way it can think of….
Elaine has endometriosis, one of those mortifying conditions that a significant percentage of women have but that no one will talk about because frankly…it’s gross (the lining of your womb spreading it’s way around your innards and making you bleed for weeks on end etc etc: gross).
And Elaine isn’t talking about it either, NO WAY. Other than in the most flippant of terms with her sister Claire who has the condition to such a degree that at 35 she’s having a hysterectomy. Claire thinks it’s gross too – and yet, is not ashamed of it: go figure.
So Elaine's in a rather bad spot: bleeding her way around town before disappearing into the night like a menstruating terrorist and mentioning nothing to anyone. Sounds AMAZING.
Endo-O is about two sisters with the same bullshit malady - not a noble illness but something debilitating, messy and most of all deeply uncomfortable for everyone involved. It’s about how we start to debunk the idea that there is a mysticism to a woman’s genitalia; not something to be deified, exalted or hidden under layer and layers of the finest conservative cotton but just a thing that women have, that they like to play with and that sometimes breaks. And the sooner we all learn to talk about it, the better.
Did you know?
- 1/10 women have endometriosis
- It’s the 2nd most common gynaecological condition in the UK
- Yet only 20% of the population have heard of it
- On average it takes 7.5 years to get diagnosed with the condition
- There is no definite cure
- Only 1/3 women find the current pain treatment effective
Why we need the money:
Didn’t you watch the video? We need it so that we don’t have people dressed as eggs and bacon instead of vaginas and ovaries!
But in all seriousness, we need it so the film can be the best it can be. The funds will go towards art department costume, cast, and locations. It will give the film high production values that make you say “ooooh aaaaaah” when you watch it. In other words – the funds will help make shit look good. Which is imperative in the world of filmmaking.
It's also about spreading the word. Finding a way to talk about uncomfortable subject matter which affects an estimated 200 million women world-wide. Your support will enable us to have this conversation, in an accessible and entertaining way.
The NFTS will offer support in terms of equipment, facilities, development and its talented students. But we still need funds to bring this film to life.
Thanks for reading this far, gold star for getting to the end! Five gold stars if you back to the film NB: Unfortunately due to budget constraints we can't actually post you the aforementioned five gold stars, but feel free to draw them on your own chart.
Who is crazy enough to make this film
Alice is a writer and director based in London, who will graduate from the National Film and Television School MA in Directing Fiction in 2018. Her last film, SEX ED, which has been selected for the BFI London Film Festival and Encounters Film Festival, was produced via the NFTS's Director's Workshop and funded by Barbara Broccoli's EON Productions. In 2016, Alice directed PREGNANT PAUSE, which starred Alexandra Roach, Nathan Stewart Jarrett and Sally Phillips, and was made through Film London's London Calling scheme. It premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and was longlisted for a BAFTA. Her first short film, DREAM GIRL, won a Virgin Media Award in 2012, and screened in Picturehouse cinemas across the UK for a year.
Having trained as an actress in theatre and television, Elaine enjoyed a diverse career on stage and screen before moving into production and development at Bonafide Films. She now works as a freelance script editor, consultant for the Rocliffe initiative in comedy as well as being part of the BAFTA New Comedy Writing Jury for emerging talent. Her first foray into screen writing, short film SARAH CHONG IS GOING TO KILL HERSELF, was selected by Creative England to be part of the Funny Girls i-shorts initiative and was supported by Big Talk Films and Baby Cow Productions. Elaine is currently writing a feature film called POLLYAMOROUS for Film 4 which Alex is producing .
Kate has worked as a radio host, photo-journalist, music publicist and until recently was Head of Operations at a London-based live broadcast, OB & production company before starting a Producing MA at the NFTS. She has produced a number of short films and most recently a feature length documentary about the Loyalist Marching Bands in Northern Ireland. Her short THE GIRL WITH TWO HEADS has been accepted into GIFF and Morelia Film Festivals. She is currently in pre-production on a number of short films and is developing a feature-length documentary to be shot in Colombia in the near future.
Alex is an award-winning producer, with accolades including Emerging Producer of the Year (SASA 2014), Best Emerging Filmmaker (Shorts Film Festival 2013) and a nomination for Best Short Film at the Australian Academy Awards (AACTA's 2015). Her short films have been Oscar Long Listed, and received international acclaim at festivals such as Raindance, Palm Springs, Sydney and St Kilda. She has also worked for companies like Warp, Element and Heyday in addition to developing her own slate of features backed by Screen Australia and Film 4.
Thanks to Sindha Agha for giving us permission to use images from her film "Birth Control Your Own Adventure".
Risks and challenges
We will be working with a crew of students, who will be learning throughout this process. This will require patience and understanding when things don't go according to plan. We will need to create a supportive environment and be encouraging to our crew, providing them with a positive self-development experience.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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