Wednesday, 7 December 2016
On Sunday night the annual awards, celebrating excellence within the Independent Film Industry, were held in London. Rubbing shoulders with films such as I, Daniel Blake, American Honey and Under The Shadow was a little film called My Feral Heart. Although no silverware was awarded the monumental achievement of the creatives behind this "little film with a big heart" were felt and rightly recognised. Whether you are marvelling at the startling and powerful performance by the films lead, Steven Brandon, or the equally emotional and astonishing turns by Will Rastall or Shana Swash there is plenty to be impressed with. Feral Girl honours are given to Pixie Le Knot, whose "otherworldly" performance adds the beautiful and spellbinding quality to a film that is both stunning and hard hitting. Duncan Paveling has crafted a screen play of such resonance that chooses to focus on what brings us together rather than what divides and the Direction by award winning Jane Gull just brings the subject matter into sharper focus. The unsung and unnoticed role of Producer is regularly overlooked but you notice a project which suffers from uncommitted or lack lustre production. My Feral Heart falls into no such pitfall as the considerable skills of James Rumsey and his production company, Rum Jam Productions, are clearly showcased. Steven Brandon, a student of the awesome fully inclusive Mushroom Theatre Company, is wonderfully supported by them and the Blossom House community is leant a natural believability because of this already close link. That is the beauty and the power of My Feral Heart, everything feels natural and has such a beautiful pacing about it. This is Luke's story and 2016 was his year!
With success at so many film festivals it is hard to pick out my highlights but riding at the top of my list would be successful screenings at Edinburgh Film Festival and award winning appearances at Cinequest (where it won the coveted Audience Award) Moscow's Breaking Down Barriers Festival (Best Feature and Best Actor) and Albania's Tirana International Film Festival (Best Panorama Film) Even receiving 3 nominations for the prestigious BIFA awards had #TeamFeral turning out in their finest. The facts speak for themselves with over 60 UK Cinema screenings set to run over 5 months and feedback from audiences who have very much been caught under the films amazing spell.
The exciting aspect of My Feral Heart has also been in the support that has developed from many independent cinemas as well as the audience empowering might of Our Screen. I have long believed that Independent Films should have easier and more wide ranging access to audiences on the big screens. Audiences are more intelligent that certain elements of our industry give them credit for and films that connect effectively with cinema goers WITHOUT the appeal of a household name or star actor are clearly demonstrating this opinion as fact. Working with the wonderful and talented actors and creatives from My Feral Heart has been an experience that I will never forget and I relish continuing to do so. This is not the end of this amazing film's life span but the beginning and I look forward to the day when a clued up Television Network takes us up on our offer and adds a little Feral flavouring to its schedules.