WHOEVER YOU ARE… AWESTWOOD SISTERSFILM A man who feels isolated and has lost all hope, stands on a bridge contemplating his fate. A stranger seeks to intervene. She can’t stop him but she can’t walk away.
STORY Amongst the iconic landmarks of London, a man overwhelmed by despair and burden by life, stands on Waterloo Bridge contemplating finding peace at the bottom of the Thames. A concerned stranger stops and urges him to reconsider. Will her actions act as a catalyst in his life or death decision?
At once unique and entirely familiar; a poignant story that explores hope and despair.
A WORD FROM THE DIRECTOR Having personally struggled at times with severe anxiety and depression, and having experienced moments of overwhelming hopelessness, I passionately wanted to tell a story that would address these issues whilst inspiring hope, as I truly believe things can and do get brighter.
Also, taking influence from the line in A Streetcar Named Desire ; ‘Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers’. This line in itself, outside of the context of the play, holds a deep significance for me and I’m sure many can relate to this expression too. This was the basis on which the fictional story of Whoever You Are… was created.
The World Health Organisation estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, or one death occurs every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds. The Mental Health Foundation has stated in England and Wales that suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years and that one person in fifteen had made a suicide attempt at some point in their life.
The film seeks to raise awareness and to inspire important conversations, and to help be a part of breaking the stigma associated with suicide. Our hope is that this movie reaches out and resonates with people, encouraging kindness and compassion, for people to be seen, to hear and be heard, whoever you are and wherever you may be.
DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT With exploring subjects very close to my heart within the film, I specifically wanted to focus on how for a person the pain of existence can become too much to bear, and how in a city of millions of people you can feel utterly alone.
My vision was to create an authentic, relevant and deeply poignant story captured in a cinematic way to intensify the reality of the situation. The choice to shoot hand-held and in an intimate manner, is to allow the audience to feel immersed in the moment with the two characters, and ensure the film maintained a naturalistic quality.
The setting is London with the action taking place on Waterloo Bridge. The grey bleakness of the bridge, is a stark contrast to the evocative presence of St Paul's Cathedral in the backdrop, which is historically known as being a beacon of hope in the heart of London. I felt this location perfectly visualised the film’s opposing themes, that of despair and hope.
My aim was to achieve a film with a timeless feel with familiar characters, with the intention for it to look, sound and feel tragically beautiful, to reflect the conflicting concepts within the story and to help create the compelling and emotive film that I had envisioned.