Nikki is a young woman desperate to join ‘The Guards,’ an infamous all-female gang. Will she be able to cope when faced with the violent reality of gang life?
Director: Nathan Hughes-Berry
Writer/producer: Madeleine Sims-Fewer
We wrote the script whilst on summer break from Central Saint Martins with the aim of making a short film centred on interesting and non-typical female characters.
We were living in South London at the time, an area with a lot of gang violence, and we started to think about how people get involved in gangs in the first place. We hit on the idea of following a young woman as she tries to break into the most infamous gang in her area and went from there.
We cast the film mainly based on who could improvise well as we wanted to ensure the actors could stay in character for the duration of the shoot. With a tiny budget and skeleton crew we decided that we could keep costs low if we shot the majority of scenes on the street close to our house; adopting a handheld documentary approach.
Although we were pushed for time with a limited budget we aimed to create a stylistic look working mainly on angles and stripping back the colour in post-production. The film was my first collaboration with Madeleine Sims-Fewer and paved the way for our next four shorts.
About Nathan Hughes-Berry
Nathan is a writer/director who works in the UK and Canada. He graduated from Central Saint Martins with a masters in screenwriting. His debut short film won a Channel 4 Talent Award.
He works exclusively with fellow CSM graduate, writer/producer/actor Madeleine Sims-Fewer and together they established independent production company Booruffle Films. Their aim is to make genre films with strong female protagonists and a bold visual style.
Their films have played at festivals worldwide such as Leuven International Short Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Fantasporto and Canada International Film Festival where they picked up an award.
Their latest collaboration, gothic feminist fantasy The Substitute, was completed at the start of 2015 and has already played at 15 festivals worldwide, picked up nominations at Dresden, Puchon Fantastic Film Festival, Imagine Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival and screened as part of Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent at Cannes.
Nathan was recently awarded a scholarship to the graduate film program at York University, Toronto and is working with Madeleine on their next short film Rape-Card, shooting in 2016, and on their first feature film Dana.