Our short film, Hear my Voice, is a gay drama with a lyrical and intimate tone that combines romance with supernatural, dream-like elements.
The essence of the film is that, only if you open up and make your voice heard, will you be able to meet someone who can hear and love you. Anyone who has ever felt that technology leads to feelings of isolationand fragmentation rather than connection, particularly in large cities, will identify with our protagonist, Mike.
With your help, we can take this candid, heartfelt story of gay life in present day London - full of difficulties, but with a hopeful conclusion - and realise it on film, allowing it reach a much wider audience. Times have changed since gay characters in films were all doomed.
Mike moved to London hoping to find love and launch his opera career. Four years later, he is still awaiting his 'big-break' and his journal is now his best friend. During yet another hook-up, he sees the apparition of his grandmother, a glamorous, eccentric woman with whom Mike used to travel the world. She is not impressed with what she finds. Her repeat visits push Mike to come to terms with himself, and allow him to make an unexpected connection with barista, Andy.
Mike is frustrated, closed off and uptight... he moved to London to train as an opera singer. Four years later, his career has stalled, while he watches his peers flaunt their successes online. He finds London lonely – especially when it comes to love, relying on hook-ups for validation and escapism. Mike’s main companion was his grandmother, who died a year before our story starts. Mike only shares his more vulnerable, emotional side in his journal. He is beginning to become jaded and cynical.
Andy is earthy, direct and open-minded, with great positive energy - a travel writer, who works part-time in a café. He is also irreverent, and funny. Unlike Mike, he is not particularly interested in success or money, and has little time for pretensions. Andy recently broke up with his boyfriend, who was repeatedly unfaithful.
Unconventional, eccentric, glamorous, Mike's grandmother took him traveling for many years, and they were very close. On her return, she is dismayed to find Mike wasting time, talent and the money she left him. Easily frustrated, she becomes angry when confronted with Mike’s misanthropy. She challenges Mike’s pessimism, encouraging him to re-open himself to the world around him and the possibilities it holds.
In our youth-obsessed world, where old people are often invisible, Mike's grandmother represents a powerful older female character, who influences the protagonist, without being judgmental.
Our location, Hackney, is a unique neighbourhood, with incredible diversity and contrasts, not often seen on film. Through choice of locations and casting, Hackney becomes almost another character in the film.
Short films can sometimes struggle to reach a wide audience - that's why we are coming to you here and getting you on board to collaborate at the ground level. Word of mouth is the most important tool for films of this size. We want to build a grass roots following for this fantastic story, so it can connect with as many people as possible.
WHO WE ARE...
We are a group of filmmakers who met at Goldsmiths University, London: Daniele Guerra (director), Alex Kassab (writer), Charles Meunier (producer).
Daniele is an Italian director living in London, with over 20 years’ experience in the world of opera before moving into film. He recently took an MA in Filmmaking (Directing Fiction) at Goldsmiths. His graduation film, I, Rose, is currently showing in the festival circuit. Directing highlights in the UK and in Europe include a collaboration with award-winning British composer Errollyn Wallen (Cautionary Tales, Latitude Festival, UK; My Feet May Take A Little While, Arcola Theatre, London); Der Freischütz (Opéra de Metz and Opéra de Rennes, France); L’occasione fa il ladro (Wexford Festival, Ireland, and Royal Academy of Music, London); the UK première of the play Purgatorio by Ariel Dorfman (Arcola Theatre), starring Adjoa Andoh and Patrick Baladi.
Alex is an MA Script Writing graduate from Goldsmiths University, based in London. His short, Skewered, debuted at the East End Film Festival 2018 and has gone on to be nominated for Best Comedy at Southampton International Film Festival 2019, as well as screening at the UK Asian Film Festival 2019 in London.
Charles is a French producer with an MA in Film Production from Goldsmiths University. He created his own production company, Gestalt Films, and has recently produced the short film Disconnect, which won the Merit Award at the Best Shorts Competition 2018 and Rising Filmmaker Award at the World of Women Cinema Dubai 2018. His previous two short films, 34 days, 18 hours and Umeshu night screened at the renowned London Short Film Festival, and won Best Short Film at the Pacific Coast International Short Film Festival, respectively.
THE STORY SO FAR...
The project began way back in December 2017 when director, Daniele, wrote the story that Hear My Voice has grown from, and put together the first draft of a script. The story develops themes from his life experience. Daniele was put in touch with writer Alex, in May 2018. Alex had just begun a festival run of his short film, Skewered, also set in Hackney. The two shared a common interest in stories of modern London, and began working on a new draft. A year (and 17 drafts!) later, the script is now ready. Daniele approached Charles in late 2018 with the hope of him joining the project as a producer. Charles connected with the story, and so began work on making the film become a reality.
We have received encouraging feedback from established film producers, directors and writers as well as our peers. Our script is now completed and we are now looking to shoot the film in October.
The next stage... is casting the actors!
We are also developing an outline for a feature film, based on the same story. The short film will be a “calling card” for the feature, and will enable us to show something tangible to producers, sponsors, investors and distributors.
£6,000 will enable us to shoot the film, paying for cast, crew and equipment. Thanks to generous help from the local community in Hackney, we have already raised £3,000 in sponsorship in kind (we have been kindly offered free locations and catering) so, now is the big push to get the project over the line!
Your contribution would go towards:
- Crew (Director of Photography, Camera Operator, Assistant Director, Gaffer, Continuity, Sound Recordist, Set Designer, Costume Designer, Hair and Make-up... and more)
- Outdoor Locations
Credits for the video:
Music: Ode - Nils Frahm
The clips throughout the video are obviously not by me (except for one)! They are from films that have inspired my project. They are:
Mulholland Drive - David Lynch
Call me by your name - Luca Guadagnino
Before Sunrise - Richard Linklater
Maria by Callas - Tom Volf
Brokeback Mountain - Ang Lee
Philadelphia - Jonathan Demme
Moonlight - Barry Jenkins
Moonstruck - Norman Jewison
Paris 05.59: Théo & Hugo - Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau
Risks and challenges
One of the challenges of this short film is that it will be shot in multiple locations. In order to overcome this challenge, we are planning to have our locations all in the same area (around London Fields in Hackney), so that moving the crew and the actors from one location to the other will be as smooth as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)