UPDATE: We have reached our targeted budget but are still fundraising so any donations from here on in are going straight to the domestic abuse charities below.
Classmates Eve and Sophia go for a walk in the countryside after school, but when things take a turn for the worse Eve has to come to terms with a harsh truth in order to make a decision that will change her life forever.
What do we aim to achieve?
Having written a script that tells the story of a survivor of domestic abuse, specifically coercive control, we wanted to ensure that we did the issue justice. This is why we contacted a number of Domestic Abuse charities and we were provided information and script consultation from EndTheFear, Manchester Women’s Aid, and Victim Support.
We have decided to develop this project as a non-profit film, meaning that any funds we raise over our budget, any surplus from the budget, and any profits from the distribution of this film will be split between these three charities.
Two recently estranged friends, Eve and Sophia, go for a walk after college to an abandoned treehouse in the woods. On arrival Eve shows Sophia the space she has created for herself and they spend some time reconnecting as friends. However this feeling of a secluded paradise is soon destroyed when Sophia falls from the treehouse and breaks her ankle. With no phones, Sophia needs Eve to go and get help however Eve seems reluctant to go and tell her father, who lives in the nearest house and as they talk Sophia begins to realise that there is more to this treehouse than it had seemed. Friendship is tested, truths are unveiled and Eve is faced with a life changing decision
This story is a coming of age tale about the friendship between two girls, and the importance of supporting and communicating with your friends. Eve is experiencing coercive control at home and it is during this walk that she accidentally lets slip the details of her home life. Sophia’s suspicion and worry grows until, when Eve is faced with the decision to go and get her friend an ambulance, she hesitates. Eve’s reluctance to go and tell her father leads to Sophia uncovering more information about Eve’s situation until finally it is apparent that Eve is experiencing some level of abuse. Sophia carefully shows Eve that she is there to support her and begins to help Eve come to terms with her reality and offer her help. In the end Eve goes and tells her dad, safe in the knowledge that with the help of Sophia and support from any number of organisations she can overcome this obstacle preventing her from having a happy life. In the final scene Sophia walks on crutches with Eve beside her, Eve talks about the help local charities are providing her with now and thanks Sophia for the support she showed her.
Eve lives with her Dad. Sadly her mum died three years ago, making it seem to her father like Eve is the only thing he has left. This makes her father initially overprotective of her, however this overprotection soon mutates into coercive control. Eve doesn’t see this as domestic abuse, because his behaviour has gradually gotten worse since the passing of her mother. Bit by bit it has built up to the manipulative abuse that it is now.
He doesn’t let Eve meet with her friends; takes and monitors her phone; and often decides where she can go, who she can see, what she can wear and when she can sleep. He frequently threatens to deny her basic needs like meals or replacement clothes if she breaks his “rules”, and on some occasions he has followed through. She feels unsafe when he’s angry as he threatens her, although because this never leads to physical violence Eve often dismisses this as just her father’s temper. He doesn’t let her have her own money; controls when she can go to college or the library; and limits her access to family, finances and friends, picking who she can meet with and definitely not allowing her to see any of her friends if they are boys. She has become isolated from the rest of the world and relies on her father for everything, all this points towards her being a survivor of coercive control.
She finds solace in an isolated treehouse in the woods near her house, as to her it seems the only place where he is not in control. She has spent afternoons there, lying to her father pretending to be at extra curricular commitments, reading or just relaxing and simply enjoying getting away from him. One afternoon Eve’s friend Sophia comes round. The few times Eve has been able to meet Sophia they meet at Sophia’s house, however this time Eve couldn’t find an excuse not to meet at hers. Eve decides to take Sophia to the treehouse instead as she cant let her Dad find out they are meeting. This is where our story starts.
Meet the Crew
Hi, my names Dan and I am the director and editor on this production. With the current environment I feel very fortunate we have the opportunity to make this film and shed a light on the issue of coercive control. I have greatly developed my practice in directing and editing over my time at university and continue to do so with influences such as Nicolas Winding Refn, Gus Van Sant and Jean-Marc Vallée. Aside from my studies I run a digital marketing company which frequently involves creating promotional video content for an array of clients. We have been working on this film for a long time and I am really looking forward to sharing it.
I am both the producer and cinematographer for our final film at uni - Hideout. I have been refining my filmmaking skills over the past 5 years and have now got a deep understanding of both practical and theoretical filmmaking. I have implemented this knowledge into all my work throughout my time at university, whilst also doing freelance work externally creating promotional videos for various businesses. I’m really looking forward to creating my final uni production, I am planning to make this my most cinematic and aesthetically pleasing film to date using the knowledge I’ve acquired during my time studying.
Hi I’m Fin and I’ve written the script and will be composing the score and sound design for this film. I have been making films since I was about 8, and started writing scripts after learning how on a BFI course in 2014. While at uni I have honed my scriptwriting a lot more and I can confidently say that this film is the culmination of all that time and effort. I did do my dissertation on sound design theory, but as far as score goes I have never composed for film. Hopefully, having played multiple instruments for the past 15 years, I can cut my teeth on this projects score. Outside of university films I recently had the chance to work on a feature film which will be premiering this summer at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Meet the Cast
Alex (playing the role of Eve)
Alexandra trained at LIPA drama school where she obtained two first class degrees in acting, including a Masters degree. Whilst there, she had the privilege of working alongside some of the most renowned practitioners in the industry. Alexandra has since been a part of two national theatre tours, receiving awards for her acting, including Best Drama in the ‘Manchester Theatre Festival ‘and Best Actor at ‘The Common Grounds Festival’. Alexandra has recently been cast in a new up and coming Amazon Prime series, as well as starring in an international commercial. Alexandra Taylor is also a Miss England Finalist 2021
Heather (playing the role of Sophia)
Heather is an actor and writer from the North-East of Scotland who graduated from the Manchester School of Theatre in 2020. She has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Manchester International Festival and recently filmed her first supporting role in a TV Series.
“I’m excited to work on a project that focuses on a female friendship and explores such an important topic”
Where will the money go?
The money you donate will go towards a number of production costs, such as the actors wages, travel to and from locations, and all props and costume rental. The budget below is an outline of the forecast expenditure, however we aim to use as little of our budget as possible, re-selling any equipment after wrap, in order to donate the rest to Manchester Women’s Aid, End the Fear and Victim support.
Once we start distribution of this film we will personally fund festival applications and any profit that we make from the distribution of the film will also go towards Manchester Women’s Aid, EndTheFear and Victim Support.
Everyone who donates will be given a private passworded link to view the film when it is finished, ahead of its premiere and before it goes to any festivals.
For donations of £50 or over, you will be credited as an Executive producer of the film.