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PHILIP LEPHERD

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PHILIP LEPHERD

Director Statement - THE BIRTHDAY CIRCLE

I originally joked about making a short film featuring my two young boys, but deep down I thought thery were young enough and unself-conscious enough to get away with an honest, uncluttered performance. When long term collaborator Keir Nuttall months later showed me an idea he'd been dwelling on since we first discussed it, there was no way I could ignore it.

What I originally thought might be a nice Saturday afternoon straight-to-Youtube effort had turned into a strong, poignant story, and I immediately set about making it happen. A nice window of opportunity appeared: availability of an apartment to shoot in, availability of key crew, the boys seemed interested in helping. I was happy to have the assistance of crack cinematographer Dom Egan and slick sound recordist Ludovic Lasserre, the intricate detail of new production deisgner Charlotte Bullock, a very efficient support crew and very happily the presence and sensitivity of experienced character actors Matthew Marsh and Rosemary Smith.

It is to me an important topic that everyone seems to have some experience of. The film presents an argument that is unwinnable, an argument no-one wants to have. How do you respect and protect someone's dignity, without looking like you're about to strip it away? Everyone gets frustrated, and families lose a sense of closeness.


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PHILIP LEPHERD