Clara's First Reader- a romantic comedy short film

A short film about a chance meeting between a writer and a thief: an unexpected opportunity for artistic collaboration and romance.

We did it!

On 6th Jun 2017 we successfully raised £105 with 7 supporters in 28 days


Clara's First Reader is a romantic comedy short film from award winning filmmaker and actress Elena Dapelo to be filmed in June this year. It will be her third romantic comedy as a writer/director/performer, after award winning shorts Taking Chancesand Something For You.  It' s the story of an unexpected encounter between two people- a writer and a thief- that are more similar than what it seems on first appearances. This chance meeting offers them an unexpected opportunity for artistic collaboration and possibly romance.

Clara's First Reader on social media:

Official website:

On Facebook

On twitter @ElenaDapelo #clara1streader


Clara's First Reader is writer/director Elena Dapelo most ambitious project to date.  The idea originates from a short story she wrote during her university years which she later adapted into a script. She has been waiting for the right opportunity to turn it into a film since she moved to London ten years ago. Lots of love and care- and the talents and commitment of a very dedicated cast and crew has gone into making sure that this project would become something  worth to be involved in and a great experience for its audience to share.

Award winning film-maker and writer/performer Elena Dapelo is originally from Italy, but has been living in London for the past ten years. She made her theatre acting début in her native town of Genoa, Italy, whilst still at University. After obtaining a Master degree in Cultural Management, she decided to dedicate herself entirely to acting and filmmaking and eventually moved to London where she completed her training. Clara's First Reader will be her third work as a writer/director/performer. Her first short, the comedy Taking Chances, won the "short" shorts category at the Screen Stockport Film Festival 2014 and was soon followed by her second work, Something For You which was equally well received, winning the best comedy award at the Rob Knox Film Festival 2015.

 Bafta winner 2005 and nominee 2006 for Photography Factual, Fred Fabre has worked on all kind of shoots since a long time, not only factual history and art docs but also dramas who won awards; he possesses a variety of skills which bring intelligence to his camera work and can really achieve the director’s vision. Among his many credits:
Factual FOR BBC2 -2016. The Mystery of Van Gogh’s Ear – (cinematography) with Jeremy Paxman; FOR BBC4 – 2015. Sappho – (cinematography and graphics) with Margaret Mountford; 2015. Treasures of Ancient Greece  – (cinematography) with Alastair Sooke; 2014. Dancing Cheek to Cheek  (History of Dance)- (Cinematography) with Lucy Worsley and Len Goodman; 2014. FOR BBC2-2014. Kate Adie’s Women of World War One – BBC 2 . (Cinematography and Graphics). Drama (DOP) FOR BBC2: Wipe Out. Drama. After the death of his mother a little boy rediscover his father; The personal history of Charles Dickens. Drama reenacting Charles Dickens’ childhood BAFTA awards Schools DRAMA – Nominee 2005; Let’s write a story – Drama – ‘King Arthur’, ‘Joan of Arc’, ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Perseus’ – 4 book extracts illustrated- BAFTA awards Schools Factual – Primary 2003; Dickens Drama-doc on the life of the Victorian novelist presented by Peter Ackroyd and starring: Anton Lesser, Natasha Little, Miriam Margolyes, Timothy West, Prunella Scales, Geoffrey Palmer, Helen McCrory, Jack Davenport Animavision Award for Best Film for Television 2003.
FOR BBC1. George Eliot : – Drama-doc on the life of the novelist starring: Harriet Walter, John Sessions, James Wilby, Richard Dillane, Maureen Lipman.

Gareth Fient is an award-winning director, producer and editor. He started making films from the early age of 11, and has now proudly got over 30 films, adverts, documentaries and music videos under his belt. He graduated Ravensbourne with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Digital Film Production. Gareth started making comedies in the early stages of his career, with his romantic comedy, 3000 miles, winning him 4 awards at the age of 16. Since then he has transitioned into drama. He has gone on to win numerous awards at film festivals worldwide, most recently snagging ‘Best Director’ at the Rob Knox Film Festival 2014 for his short film, Perpetual Motion, which was also in the top 15 of the Talenthouse Sundance Film Festival Competition 2014. Recently, Gareth has also broken into the US film industry  working on several short films and adverts from Los Angeles as an editor, as well as several      dance films and documentaries from Rhode Island, USA.

Award winning composer Darryl John Hannan is a rising talent in the film and media industry. He has worked on a myriad of projects ranging from corporate commercials for the University of East Anglia, OCR and Forward to a variety of feature films such as the bittersweet romantic drama 'Kept Boy', the darker thriller of 'Twenty Five', to the full octane, action packed 'Grimsby RV'. A graduate of the University of Hertfordshire, achieving first class honours in Commercial Composition and Technology, Darryl is innovative and meticulous in his scoring.

Valya "Valita" Kafadarova was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1985. She is a London based Make-up Artist with more than ten years of experience. Valya completed “Make-up and Wigs” at Stage Design College with the highest score in 2004. During her Scenography Bachelor Degree at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2009, she gained a wide variety of specific skills. At the same university she finished A Master Degree of Theatre Costume and Fashion in 2011. Valya has  experience in the Beauty Industry, Film and Theatre Make-up. She has provided a wide range of hairstyles and make-ups to actors  and actresses for short movies, show reels and advertising, collaborating with award winning directors and working on special effects make-ups.

Producer Michael Wearing has more than 16 years of filmmaking experience, running both small and medium sized projects from idea conception through to delivery. As CEO of That's Bellion Film Production LtD, he has been responsible for all aspects of film production, including identifying and cultivating clients, working to their briefs, development of ideas, script writing, all aspects of administration and finance, Health and Safety, risk assessments.
Clients included NHS England, Kent Safeguarding Children’s Board, Kent Safeguarding Adult’s Board. ECHO charity, Kent County Council. He has also been the festival director of the Rob Knox Film Festival since 2008. Among his independent film credits are: TIMMY’S WISH 2013 (Director Gareth Fient), RUN FAIRY RUN 2013 (Director Darren Rapier), DEEP BREATHS 2015 (Director Gareth Fient).

Johnathon- Johnny- Neal began his career at age 7 performing in West End musicals, television, and even playing alongside Ian McKellen at the National Theatre. As an adult he decided to study his craft further at The Henley College, completing a Btec National Diploma in Performing Arts, then continuing his studies with Scott Williams of the Impulse Company. He is most at home on screen playing deep, cognitive characters whether they be anti-heroes or villains.
A keen writer as well as an actor, Johnny is the perfect casting choice for The Thief. 
Film credits on imdb:

Thea Balich began her acting career aged fifteen, as a babe in ‘Babes in the Woods’ at Lincoln Theatre Royal with the Emmerdale cast. She went on to perform in the world renowned Mystery Plays at York Theatre Royal before turning her hand to presenting and hosting a live studio game show for Nickelodeon. Now with drama school training under her belt she's relaunched her acting career with 5 star rave reviews from the critics by performing all 5 characters in a contemporary adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since returning to London she has shot 31 short films, performed in The Women's Redressed Festival in London's West End and is due to tour the UK as Sarah in Miles Tredinnick's 'Twist'. Thea is really excited to be playing Clara's best friend Lisa and has said she "can't wait for the filming to begin with such a talented cast and crew".


 Although part of the fundings is already in place, more is needed to cover our greater costs such as locations hiring, post production and festival release.  Our aim is to make this project to the highest standard in order to fullfill the story true potential and release it to the high-end festival circuit.

The money will be spent for:

-An award-winning cast and crew

- Locations & permits

- Catering, travel and other on-location essentials

- Festival submissions

- Post-production costs

- Final DVDs and other deliverables

We are offering a varied range of different rewards for everyone who is interest in supporting the project, which we hope would appeal both to the general audience and the indie film community:

Film props and merchandise, including handmade earrings like those wore by Clara in the film and promo imagines;

The chance of getting directly involved in the film: as an extra or as an associate or an excutive producer, attending the private screening or visiting the set;

 Digital dowload content that goes from the first stage of pre-production (earlier script drafts with alternative endings) to post-production and promotion (behind the scene interviews and pictures, poster, music score) giving you the chance to follow the production of the film step by step from its beginning.


If you are not in a position to contribuite financially, there are still many ways you can help by spreading the word on social media.  Social media promotion can really help our project go a long way and it's priceless . Every share and like counts!

Please like and share our page on Facebook

Follow us and re-tweet Clara's creator on twitter @ElenaDapelo and spread the word about the campaign using #clara1streader

You can visit our website for more information and production updates. 

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