The sun is usually a symbol of life, of happiness and positivity but we see an opposing image in this film. It is so harmful that siblings Ameer and Sadiya need to hide from it, they have to cover themselves up to go out and are told to play in the shadows. This informed the film's visual style, to use light sparingly, streaming through curtains and hallways but leaving the majority of the compositions in darkness.
Filming in an observational handheld-style allowed us to be more intimate and get closer to the family’s daily life and to capture the little moments that aren’t usually shared. It allowed access, and unobtrusiveness, that with a larger crew we would have never achieved.
We used a deliberately slower pace to tell our story, to allow the audience to settle into the family’s environment, to experience both the contrasting quiet home life and the busy streets outside in as much detail as possible.
The slower pace also felt reflective of Ameer’s inner emotional landscape as he anticipates his next operation in the coming days, an event he’s slowly dreading as it approaches.
We were adamant from the start to avoid talking heads as we wanted the film to feel intimate and to avoid taking the audience out of the environment we were building.
We didn't feel a need for a musical score to overdramatize the events, instead heightened sound played a big part in bringing the viewer into our character’s world who rely largely on their hearing due to their impaired sight. The majority of the soundtrack is made up of natural sounds which are taken from their environment, even the music we hear at the beginning and end is the call to prayer being announced from a local mosque.
Our hope is that we’ve made a film that strongly portrays the everyday struggle that young people in developing countries with visual impairment go through. We want the audience to feel for Ameer and Sadiya and to be left with an understanding of the problems they face.
Fred is a big believer in the power of documentary to create connection, understanding and empathy through the sharing of personal stories and culture.
As a director, his first feature film was ‘Basically, Johnny Moped’ (2013) which premiered at the prestigious documentary festivals Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK) and IDFA (Amsterdam). He has also made documentaries for The Guardian newspaper, Great Big Story (CNN) and Greenpeace amongst others and is continually working on his own personal documentaries.
As a documentary cameraman he has worked on many feature films. He has filmed several projects with Bafta award winning director Kieran Evens including 'David Gilmour: Wider Horizons' (BBC 2015), 'Manic Street Preachers: Escape From History' (Sky Arts 2016) and 'Toots & the Maytals: From The Roots' (Sky Arts 2017). The most recent documentary feature he worked on was 'The Great Hack' (Netflix 2019).
Daniel Grasskamp is a Writer & Director based in the UK.
His award-winning feature film 'Cat Skin' (2017) premiered at OUTshine Film Festival in Miami as a Programmer Pick and won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature Film at Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival.
‘Cat Skin’ received further award nominations from film festivals around the world including the Gryphon Award at the 47th Giffoni Film Festival in Italy and screened at one of the biggest festivals in Northern Europe PÖFF: The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. This heartbreaking coming of age drama is now streaming on Prime Video.
His latest short film ‘One Last Run’ (2019) is a tense thriller shot in a single location. ScreenCraft selected the screenplay out of 2000 submissions for their Film Fund competition and awarded the script a spot in their semi-finals. 'One Last Run' is now entering festivals.