Cast: Stacey Read
Crew: Producers: Jack Hawkins – Screenwriters: Jack Hawkins – Cinematography: Anthony Brown – Sound Department: Joao Correria – Editing: Ben Cowan – Sound Design: Olivier Bessuges – Composer: Olivier Bessuges
Aneni makes just enough to survive and not enough to care for her little girl. She’s invisible, ignored – and stronger than you can imagine.
Jack Hawkins is an actor, writer and director from London. In film and television he has appeared in Raised By Wolves (Ridley Scott), Call The Midwife, Harlots and The Head Hunter; in theatre he’s worked numerous times in London’s West End and toured internationally with Cheek By Jowl, performing at the Sydney Theatre Company and at BAM in New York. He completed a law degree at Oxford University, before attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. His first short film, Hunting, is currently doing a festival run, showing at a number of festivals including San Antonio, Texas and Fast Net in Ireland
Our film tells the story of Aneni, a young British/Zimbabwean woman who is caught in the grey area of citizenship law. We wanted to tell the story of one person who finds themselves unknowingly without residency rights, their home no longer welcoming, their rights no longer protected. Aneni is just struggling to make do, but is mistreated by the system and those around her, and she gets drawn into a dark underworld in the desperate hope of survive. Aneni is played by British/Zimbabwean actor Stacey Read. Her story is the story of so many woman — especially migrant woman, vulnerable to exploitation — and we spent many weeks in research and rehearsals with our company of actors to ensure a faithful, respectful portrayal. We wanted to make something that dealt with important issues facing us today — human rights, immigration, human trafficking and women’s rights — honourably and carefully. And we wanted to empower our protagonist, even though she was so disempowered in her everyday life. Aneni is relatively silent for a leading character: this was a conscious choice. It was important therefore for her inner struggles to be brought out without the use of words — through music, shot choice and framing, and through the actions of other characters. Initially Aneni is affected by those around her more than through her own volition — flotsam buffeted by the crashing waves — but through the story she finds her grip on her life and has to make a terrifying choice. Visual story telling was (of course) of great importance: cinematographically, we wanted to contrast the mundane, difficult normality of Aneni’s world at the start of the film with where she finds herself by the end.