Hastings filmmaker co-producing film on plight of the homeless

Owain interviews a homeless man on the street. Picture by Ken Abbott
Owain interviews a homeless man on the street. Picture by Ken Abbott

A filmmaker from Hastings is jointly producing a film to highlight the plight of homelessness in the UK.

Melita Cameron-Wood, who grew up in the town but now lives in London, is working with Owain Astles, a Bristol-based young filmmaker and director to make Sleeping Rough.

She said: “Owain is just 21 years old, has founded his own production company, Pastles Productions, and is now running the massive undertaking of making a film we hope will reach a nationwide audience.

“Sleeping Rough is a docudrama we decided to make after assembling 100 hours of voice recordings of interviews with rough sleepers in the UK. We decided to make a docudrama as opposed to a documentary as many of those, who we interviewed did not want to be seen on film for obvious reasons.

“The film will therefore comprise of a scripted section based upon the experiences that have been related to us, which will follow three individual’s journeys. This scripted section will then be interspersed with voice recordings. This project is not just a film, but an effort to educate about the realities of rough sleeping, homelessness and poverty in the UK today.

“We have interviewed leading charity workers, including Stephen Robertson, the CEO of the Big Issue Foundation. We want to fight stereotypes about rough sleepers and aim to create an educational package to run alongside the film, which we aim to release in June/July and will enter into several film festivals and distribute among educational establishments, the charity sector and perhaps further afield, but we are still in conversation about distribution possibilities at the moment.

“We want to get ordinary people talking and thinking about homelessness in a more nuanced way and we believe that our film can act as an impetus for change.”

Visit www.facebook.com/sleepingroughfilm for more information.

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