The short film tells the story of 15 year old Grace, who with her mother, Louise, is forced to flee from an abusive father and husband. Their refuge is short-lived when they are unwittingly tracked down, with dire consequences.
We are thrilled to have the support of the Arts Council. We are passionate about this project and are telling a story that needs to be heard. We are also really blown away by the backing we have received from people and organisations across the island and around the world on social media; many who have been affected by domestic abuse themselves and have a story to tell.
- Producer, Aradhna Tayal
Losing Grace is the story of a 15 year old girl, who with her mother, Louise, is forced to flee from an abusive father and husband.
The project stemmed from an idea that co-producer and lead actress Liz Farahadi was exploring, about how people become susceptible to being groomed. Liz worked with writer and director Athena Mandis to develop the story:
I was looking at how austerity has caused children to be neglected not from abuse, but from having a loving yet absentee parent who is just trying to survive and put food on the table. We started to discover the horror of what is happening to victims of domestic abuse even after the abuse comes to light, and the devastating impact on the children.
Working hard: Athena Mandis and Liz Farahadi
Aradhna is a firm believer in the power of the arts to move people and effect real change:
Film has the power to draw us in and identify with characters and stories. We see ourselves reflected on screen, as well as discovering different or unfamiliar perspectives. It also presents an opportunity to speak out about difficult topics that may feel uncomfortable to discuss. Already, the project has created a rare space for people to come forward and share their own stories, often for the first time.
Right to left: Athena Mandis Writer/Director, Liz Farahadi Producer/Lead Actress and Aradhna Tayal Producer
We became aware early on that this film had created a platform for women to share their experiences of domestic abuse. We have found ourselves with a film that gives voice to others. Its resonance is humbling.
Beyond the social media communities that the team have nurtured, they are committed to building on the project as a platform for action.
We envisage organising screenings with space for discussion, to create an environment for change. By telling Louise’s story, we hope to initiate thoughtful discussion and motivate people to find out more.
- Writer/Director, Athena Mandis
But Losing Grace is not just another gritty kitchen-sink drama.
This is a beautiful film that will take the audience down a deceptive path, making the dark twist at the end all the more powerful.
The setting on the Isle of Man is crucial to creating the beautifully haunting and cinematic atmosphere of the film.
I was visiting the island for another project and was instantly drawn by how well the landscape, culture and mythology fit with our film. I knew we had to come back!
- Producer/Lead Actress, Liz Farahadi
Location scouting at the beautiful Groudle Glen
The film opens with Louise and Grace arriving through the mist on the ferry, their new home being revealed to them with the air of coming out of a bad dream. The film will feature the wild and beautiful landscapes of the island as well as local musicians and talent.
We are committed to working with a 100% female crew on Losing Grace. Our industry is notoriously undiverse and we are passionate about the need to recruit more people from underrepresented parts of society in order to truly reflect the society we live in. This means more women, including in senior and technical roles as well as on screen, more people from ethnic minority backgrounds, more talent from outside of the main production hubs like London and more people who have had untraditional routes into the industry.
- Aradhna Tayal
At the heart of the project is the desire to work with an all-female team from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Some renowned local talent who have joined the crew include fashion designer Claire Christian as costume designer, filmmaker Bethany White as sound designer and media event manager Lian Sherriff as production manager. Athena is delighted to attract such a fantastic team:
Something we all share is leading through positive action. For us it’s very important to make the process of the film as inclusive as possible.
The team intend to shoot the short film on location on the Isle of Man in February 2020 and are currently raising the final funds needed to film.
We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to support Losing Grace! And we hope you’ll stay with us for the journey.
- Aradhna Tayal
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