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A Sci-Fi Short Film Set in the Near Future Shanghai starring Derek Jacobi (The King's Speech) and Katie Leung (Harry Potter Films).

SUN NEVER SETS Concept Art - Copyright Third Man Films 2013 - Concept Artist - Seung Ho Henrik Holmberg
SUN NEVER SETS Concept Art - Copyright Third Man Films 2013 - Concept Artist - Seung Ho Henrik Holmberg

SUN NEVER SETS is a new Science Fiction short film set in the near future Shanghai. We are really lucky to have two amazing actors who have agreed to play the lead roles - the legendary theatre and film actor Derek Jacobi (The King's Speech, Gladiator, I Claudius) and Katie Leung (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), who is known for her role as Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films and most recently for her great work in the theatre adaptation of the internationally acclaimed book 'Wild Swans'. Writer/Director - Daniel Jewel, Produced by Ateh Jewel & Mandy Belnick.

Hi Kickstarter Backers! Our names our Daniel Jewel (writer-director) and Ateh Jewel (producer) and we are a husband-and-wife team with a track record of producing high quality short films. We are really excited to share our project with you and together we hope to bring it to life.

Daniel wrote the script and will direct the film this Autumn, and Ateh will produce alongside producer Mandy Belnick - who is hugely experienced in marketing feature films and short films. 

We also worked together as a team on a short film called 'Sidney Turtlebaum,' which was received really well at festivals around the world and was shortlisted for an Oscar, nominated for a British Independent Film Award and won 'Best Foreign Film' at L.A. Shortsfest. It also starred Derek Jacobi and it's really exciting to have the chance to join forces with him again to make another film. 

Earlier this year, we completed another short film 'Drone', starring Ewen Bremner, who played Spud in the cult British film 'Trainspotting.' Drone has been accepted to three Oscar Qualifying film festivals this year - Aspen Shortsfest, Rhode Island Film Festival and Montreal World Film Festival. You can check out more information about our background in producing short films, on the websites for Sidney Turtlebaum (www.sidneyturtlebaum.co.uk) and Drone (www.dronemovie.co.ukhttps://www.facebook.com/dronemovie2013).  

You can also check out the new Facebook page for Sun Never Sets here: www.facebook.com/pages/Sun-Never-Sets/164270243752988

We feel that Kickstarter is a really liberating and empowering platform to connect filmmakers and audiences. With your support we can make the film happen this year, and we will put all our efforts into making the very best film possible. We will treat this project with the same care, passion and attention to detail as if it was a feature film. If we exceed our funding goal perhaps we can achieve our dream of making a feature film based on the same characters and setting as this short film. 

If you come on board and help green light 'Sun Never Sets,' you can be guaranteed that we will produce the highest quality film and market it to all the major film festivals around the world - just like we did with our last two shorts 'Sidney Turtlebaum' and 'Drone.'

The film will star Derek Jacobi - the legendary British stage and screen actor known for films including the Oscar-winning 'The King's Speech', 'Gladiator', 'Gosford Park' and 'I Claudius'. And Katie Leung - who made her name in the Harry Potter films and who most recently starred in the first theatre version of the international bestseller 'Wild Swans' and the upcoming new Channel 4 series 'Run.'

Our film is set in the near future where China has become the undisputed world power and the West is in disarray. Now, the tired and hungry people of Europe are fleeing to the great cities of China to seek a new life as economic migrants.

Against this backdrop, a Chinese-born Englishman named HEDGES has decided to turn his back on the tide of history by taking his adopted daughter KATIE to a small abandoned island downstream from Shanghai, where his British ancestors used to trade to China from in the nineteenth century.

He has rebooted the abandoned island and staffed it with illegal English immigrants to China, creating his own world as if the British Empire had never fallen. The island is off the grid and has no electricity or running water.  The small community living under Hedges use gas lamps, so it's as if they are living a British version of an Amish village.

One day a wealthy English family, who have started a successful new life in Shanghai, crash their boat on the shores of the island. Hedges and Katie are forced to take them into their community. The arrival of the family sparks off something in Katie - who has always wondered what life might be like away from the island. She spends her evenings gazing at the neon haze of Shanghai, which she can see through her grimy bedroom window. Katie can see how at ease the family are with life in Shanghai; they speak fluent Mandarin and are fully accepted into Chinese society, and this leads her to question everything Hedges has told her about the modern world. This brings her into conflict with Hedges, especially when the young son of the family, TOM, offers to take her back to Shanghai with them.  In the climax of the film, Katie is pressured to make life-changing choices, which ultimately reveal the dark history of the British Empire in China and Hedges's ancestors involvement in the Opium Wars. 

We feel that the themes of Sun Never Sets - the themes of loss of power and nostalgia for the past - can connect with a wide audience. Many people across the world, not just in Britain, feel that their country's best days are in the past. People in France, Spain, Japan and now America have the feeling that the best days are not to come. This feeling can lead to a sense of bitterness and a need to seek comfort by looking back to past glories, and this is exactly what Hedges has done with his island retreat. With the rise of China being reported every day across the international media, many people in the West see this rise as a threat. However it can also be an opportunity. For instance, once Katie sees how immersed the new family is in Chinese society, she stops seeing Shanghai as a threat and instead as an opportunity to grow and participate in a modern world.

In the last century, the rise of Germany and Japan led to terrible war and bloodshed, and everyone must hope that this cycle isn't repeated in this century. Our hope is that by examining these themes of conflict through the film, we can encourage open debate about what this century will look like and how best to tackle conflicts that may arise without repeating the mistakes of the past.

As well as these geo-political themes, at its heart Sun Never Sets is a film about family. Both Hedges and Katie feel an intense need to belong and to find a family and place in the world, but they are pulled in opposite directions. Hedges is living in the past surrounded by the family and community he has created on the island. Meanwhile Katie has the urge to find herself and her true identity by jumping into the future, which Shanghai represents. This need for family and identity is a powerful theme in the film and is one that we hope people can connect to.

The world of SUN NEVER SETS will look visually stunning, with a hyper-modern Shanghai combined with the world of 19th century England, which Hedges has tried to bring back to life. To achieve this ambitious look we using three elements - Production Design, Locations and VFX. The Production Design of the film will be created by Caroline Amies who designed the Oscar-nominated 'In the Name of the Father', which starred Daniel Day Lewis. We have carefully chosen locations on the Southwest coast of England , which have green forests, waterfalls and coastal views that will give the impression of China. Then, we have a talented and dedicated VFX team who will create a vision of a futuristic Shanghai - that is always in the background of the shots - almost mocking Hedges as he tries to blot out the modern world.


We aim to shoot SUN NEVER SETS this Autumn over a five day shoot and to complete the main post-production of the film by December 2013. We are looking to complete the VFX, Colour Grade and Dolby 5.1 Sound Mix of the film by January 2014, and to have the film ready to submit to film festivals by February 2014. We then aim to have a 12-14 month film festival cycle of the film before looking to distribute the film online.

We will use the funding to produce the film from start to finish - to hire our cast, crew, locations, film and lighting equipment - right through to the post-production and VFX for the film. If you would like to get involved in the film and become a Kickstarter Backer - we have created a range of contributor benefits including credits on the film, props from the film, tickets to cast and crew screenings and even an opportunity to visit the set and meet the cast and crew in person as we make the film. We look forward to making this film with you! 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are always risks in producing any film and we are always prepared to deal with curve balls - whether its the film's schedule, budget or the weather. If something can go wrong it will go wrong. But we feel our experience and track record in producing short films will stand us in good stead to deliver the film to our Kickstarter Backers!

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    You'll receive exclusive Kickstarter-backer updates about SUN NEVER SETS through a personalised email sent to you with regular updates throughout the production process. We'll also keep you posted about updates and future screenings via Facebook and Twitter. Plus our eternal gratitude!

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    You'll receive a Kickstarter-backer exclusive animated digital map of the island location of SUN NEVER SETS designed by our concept art team full of clickable information about the main characters and filming locations of the film. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    You will receive a glossy, hard copy printed behind the scenes, photograph featuring Derek Jacobi and Katie Leung, from the set of the film, signed by the Director and Producer of SUN NEVER SETS posted direct to you. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    You will receive a bespoke real life prop from the set of SUN NEVER SETS mailed directly to you. It could be a toy soldier, an antique book, or period newspaper - complete with a certificate signed by the Director of the film. Every prop will be a unique piece. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    Can't make it to London? Receive instead a Blue Ray DVD copy of the final film after it's festival release mailed direct to you. You will receive an on screen "Thank you" credit on the final version of the film, which will also be added to IMDB. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    You will receive 4 tickets to a private cast and crew screening of the film in London, including and Q+A with the Cast, Director and Producers of the film (travel and accommodation not included). You will receive an on screen "Thank you" credit on the final version of the film, which will also be added to IMDB. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    You will receive a personalised framed limited edition behind the scenes still of Derek Jacobi and Katie Leung, from the set of Sun Never Sets, signed by the main cast and crew of the film. You will receive an on screen "Thank you" credit on the final version of the film, which will also be added to IMDB. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    You will receive a Skype Video Chat with the Director and Producer of the film for 30 minutes. We can discuss all the latest news from the production of the film to your latest project. You will also receive 4 tickets to a private cast and crew screening of the film in London, including and Q+A with the Cast, Director and Producers of the film (travel and accommodation not included). You will receive an on screen "Thank you" credit on the final version of the film, which will also be added to IMDB. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    You will receive a private Skype Video tour direct from the set of the film with the Director and Producer and Cast members of the film for 20 minutes during the production of the film. You will receive 4 tickets to a private cast and crew screening of the film in London, including and Q+A with the Cast, Director and Producers of the film (travel and accommodation not included). You will receive an on screen "Thank you" credit on the final version of the film, which will also be added to IMDB. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    Come on board and become an Associate Producer of the film and receive a credit on the final film and on IMDB! You will receive X6 tickets to a private cast and crew screening of the film in London, including and Q+A with the Cast, Director and Producers of the film (travel and accommodation not included). You will receive an on screen "Thank you" credit on the final version of the film, which will also be added to IMDB. Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    Become an Executive Producer and receive a credit on IMDB! and receive a credit on the final film and on IMDB! You will receive X6 tickets to a private cast and crew screening of the film in London including and Q+A with the director, screenwriter and producers (travel and accommodation not included). Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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    Come and visit the set! You and a guest of your choice will be invited to the set of SUN NEVER SETS on location in a picturesque fishing village on the beautiful south west coast of England including two nights accommodation in a charming bed and breakfast lodge overlooking the ocean. (Travel from outside the U.K not included). You will be given a personal guided tour of the set by the Director and Producer of the film and be able to watch the film being shot. You will also receive an Executive Producer credit on the film and IMDB. You will also receive X6 tickets to a private cast and crew screening of the film in London including and Q+A with the director, screenwriter and producers (travel and accommodation not included). Plus a PDF of the shooting script on the day of the movie's release - digitally signed by the cast and crew. Plus the exclusive animated digital map of the island location of the film designed by our concept art team. You'll also receive regular updates and behind the scenes stills and footage throughout the production process of SUN NEVER SETS.

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