Forced to travel overseas the night before her abortion, Belfast-born Sarah navigates her way through London.
WRITER AND CO-PRODUCER’S STATEMENT
The idea for this film originally sprang from conversations in 2017 with Belfast-born friend and collaborator Maria Quinn, when I was horrified to discover that not only was abortion illegal in almost all cases in Northern Ireland (in 2018 only 12 women accessed an abortion in Northern Ireland), but Northern Irish women, despite being part of the United Kingdom, were not entitled to abortions on the NHS even if they travelled to other parts of the UK. In the process of developing this film the law regarding the NHS has changed, and now the overall situation in Northern Ireland looks set to change in October 2019 (provided the NI government doesn't reform before then) – which shows, along with the successful Repeal the Eighth campaign in the Republic of Ireland, how quickly this issue is evolving.
However, as we celebrate moving forward in Northern Ireland, we must also acknowledge all the other places in the world that are either standing still, including UK territories like Gibraltar where abortion is penalised with life imprisonment, or even moving backwards, like Alabama and other US states, where abortion rights are actively being rescinded. All these laws force women into vulnerable situations by having to travel to access abortion, and ultimately deny them rights over their own bodies.
I believe women not only deserve the right to choose, but also to do so with the comfort and support of their own network of friends and family around them, to be able to do so in a country or state that is familiar to them, and to not be financially penalised by being forced to pay for travel, accommodation and potentially extra time off work.
I wanted to use the power of film to not only educate audiences on a vital issue, but to tell a story that got to the human core of this. All of these laws place women – especially working class women - in a vulnerable position, and I wanted to use the thriller genre to explore what would happen if that vulnerability was exploited and that trust was misplaced.
So, I’m from Belfast in Northern Ireland. When Eleanor and I first talked about our idea for this film I was living in London and we were waiting to graduate from Drama school. I had lived in London for six years at this stage and felt very passionate about the plight of women in Ireland. I remember thinking, “God, this really doesn’t affect me at the moment – because I live in England and if I was in the awful position of needing an abortion, I can get one – but if I lived at home, I couldn’t.” This thought really sat with me. And when I moved back to Belfast last year I realised I was back in that boat, although thankfully not in that position. So when Eleanor said she had written a first draft of that original idea, I felt relieved. Relieved that through her writing and vision, we were at least doing something.
Living in London, I remember feeling that people in England didn’t quite understand or realise just how different our laws “over the water” were. Women in Northern Ireland can’t access free, safe and legal abortions - still. Gay marriage is legal in the Republic but illegal up North – still. The rest of the UK didn’t really know who the DUP were until they propped up May’s government, and yet the political backdrop in Northern Ireland has had a profound effect on the rights of vulnerable people. I feel it’s our job, through this film, to hold a mirror up and show a glimpse into the world of real people being affected by old laws and backwards politics, to say “This is not OK”, and – most importantly – to affect change.
Trust is a powerful and relevant story which explores the desperation and plight facing pregnant women around the world, who have limited support from their country and in some cases are forced to travel abroad to have an abortion and reclaim governance over their own bodies. We take for granted the choices and options we have available to us in this country, but across the world there is a continuous war raging against women and their right to choose. - Katie Bonham
WRITER / CO-PRODUCER / THE STRANGER
Eleanor studied English Literature at King’s College London (BA Hons 1st class) before training at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) where she played lead roles in her final year including Portia in ‘The Merchant of Venice’, and Richard in ‘Richard III’. Since graduating her acting work has included short films such as ‘Ebb and Flow’ directed by BAFTA-winning Pier Wilkie, as well as theatre work for the Nuffield Theatre Southampton, The Pleasance, The Arcola and The Bunker theatre, and radio work for BBC Radio 4. She has worked extensively with new writing, and is often sought after by directors and writers wanting to workshop, develop and devise new work.
CO-PRODUCER / SARAH
Maria is a LAMDA-trained actor and deviser currently living in Belfast. Her theatre credits include Women Troubles (Pintsized Productions, Northern Irish Tour), Project A (Pleasance Theatre, London), Playboy of the Western World (London Irish Rep), An Apple a Day (London Irish Rep), I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (LAMDA), The Bright and Bold Design (LAMDA), When the Rain Stops Falling (LAMDA), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Another Way Theatre), Since You've Been Gone (Flourish DC) and Oliver! (Rainbow Factory), and her screen credits include short film Ebb and Flow (dir. Pier Wilkie).
Spotlight : https://www.spotlight.com/7017-8970-2044
Katie Bonham is an award-winning Writer / Director whose short films have screened worldwide, at both genre and non-genre film festivals. She has held four world premieres at Frightfest in Leicester Square, and her fourth short, Mindless (2016), screened during Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 to highlight the effects of dementia.
Bonham's films have been awarded both nationally and internationally, including competing for the prestigious Gold Méliès d'Or at Sitges 2018, after winning the Silver Méliès d'Argent from Abertoir Film Festival (in affiliation with The European Fantastic Films Festival Federation). Bonham's films focus on combining social realism and the horror genre, to create original and thought-provoking stories. Bonham is currently working with the BBC who have commissioned one of her short film projects that she has Written and Directed due to air 2020.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / C0-PRODUCER
IMDB LINK: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3106044/
Annabel trained at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (BA Acting). She has experience in all aspects of the industry and her credits include for TV: DOCTORS (BBC), RELLIK (BBC), GUERRILLA (Sky), LUTHER (BBC), for theatre: THE PLAY ABOUT MY DAD (Jermyn Street Theatre), HEDDA GABLER (Understudy at The National Theatre and on tour as Mrs Elvsted), MUSWELL HILL (Park Theatre), OTHELLO (Leicester Square Theatre), for film: THE CARER (Hopscotch Films, Mythberg Films, Vita Nov Films), MAKING IT (Making It Productions Ltd), WHIPPED (Koto Films), and for voice over: THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE, A WITCH IN WINTER and HOW NOT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD (Royal National Institute for the Blind) and several LYNX/AXE adverts.
As well as acting, Annabel trained with Hopscotch Films in 2010 to become a Producer. She went onto work for the BBC and BFI and Honeybee Films Ltd was set up with David Cordon in 2013 where Annabel has produced eleven short films. One of the shorts: RINK was selected as part of Eastern Edge Films and Film London's: London Calling Scheme which has subsequently been accepted into Bath, East End Film Festival and London Short Film Festival where two other shorts of hers were shown. Annabel also teaches acting to children and adults.
It is a difficult and sometimes painful subject for us as film makers to broach, but nonetheless is an important one. None of us have the answers to all the questions that exploring this subject brings up, but we hope that this film will inspire our audiences to have more conversations about the topic - particularly whether changes might be possible so that all women in the UK and Ireland have the same rights.
WHAT WOULD YOUR SUPPORT MEAN TO US?
It would enable us to advance our careers as filmmakers and help others to develop and grow too. We would be able to experiment more with the way in which we use cinematography to tell the story and push boundaries in terms of social change.
We have managed to source the following in kind:
- Producer, Writer, Director and Cast
We are seeking £3000 in order to pay for:
- The rest of our Excellent Crew
- Vehicles to transport the equipment
- Costume and Make-up
- Set design
We will be looking to raise the final £1000 for the following once we have a cut of the film:
- Post Production
- Sound Edit
We will be filming in late October and complete the film by the end of the year.
FUTURE OF THE PROJECT
This is a standalone short film, which I think will have success in festivals, but we think it could have the potential to be developed into a feature film.
I know what a huge undertaking this will be and so any additional support in terms of producing would be gratefully received, so any ideas you have, please do send them our way.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU CANNOT SUPPORT FINANCIALLY
Please share the link to our crowd funding campaign and help support the film.
Risks and challenges
There are huge risks in trying to raise this amount of money to make our short, but we believe that we can raise it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)