Title: My Sweet FA
Length: Approx. 50 minutes
Set up: Every year, thousands of innocent people have their lives destroyed after they are falsely accused of crimes they didn't commit. This often happens in the wake of the breakdown of a domestic relationship or during a custody battle for children - but not always. Some people who are in the public eye are also falsely accused and face the ordeal of having the false allegation make the news headlines and find their careers and reputation in tatters as they try to clear their name. Often there is a little or no corroborating evidence to support the false allegations - it simply comes down to one person's word, or recollection of alleged events from many years ago, against another. If the allegation can be categorised as domestic violence, even in the absence of evidence, there is often a prosecution with the authorities opting to 'let the courts sort it out'. If you think the legal system abandoned trial by ordeal centuries ago, then My Sweet FA could make you think again. More often than not, it is the very process of justice that is the punishment, not the final verdict of any jury - the legal process itself has, for many who are falsely accused, become the punishment.
How did it get to this? How is it that pointing a finger at someone and simply accusing them can be just as lethal as pointing a gun at them?
My Sweet FA will investigate the rising phenomenon of the false accusation and lift the lid on what really happens to ordinary people when they are falsely accused. It will follow the lives of those currently caught up in the nightmare of trying to prove their innocence within a system which calls their accuser a 'victim' simply for making an allegation, long before any facts have been established. It will talk to those who have been through the arduous process of trying to clear their name and discover the lasting effect it has had on their lives and their relationships with their family and especially their children. It will talk with legal experts working in the field to try and understand how ‘innocent until proven guilty’, so long the guiding principle of our law has for many been replaced by ‘punished until proven innocent’. It will talk with medical professionals to try and understand what motivates someone to make a false allegation and knowingly turn someone’s life upside down. My Sweet FA will also attempt to talk to those who have actually made a false allegation and try to understand why they acted as they did.
My Sweet FA will not make comfortable viewing and many will find some of its content disturbing. We make no apology for this. We will take you inside the car wreck of ordinary peoples’ lives and inside a legal system that seems to be more concerned with pandering to political correctness than to fairly seeking the truth. My Sweet FA will seek the truth about false allegations and their aftermath, without fear or favour, and will ask the difficult questions without flinching.
What will probably disturb you more after watching My Sweet FA will be the realisation that if this could happen to the ordinary people whose desperate stories we share in this film, then it could certainly happen to you.
There are common myths about our legal system - they go something like this - "If you are innocent, you have nothing to fear." and, "You'll have your day in court" and, "The truth will out.", and "Innocent until proven guilty." The reality couldn't be further from the myth. The reality is that every year thousands of innocent people, both men and women, are dragged into a legal system which turns their lives upside down on the basis of nothing more than an unsubstantiated allegation - often made by an embittered ex-partner. For some facing this terrible ordeal, the pressure of proving their innocence becomes too much as they suffer terrible mental anguish and some resort to self-harm or even to taking their own lives. The effects on their family, friends and the relationship with their own children often suffer lasting damage. This cannot be right - can it?
This film matters because we need to have an honest debate about what actually happens when someone is falsely accused of a crime. We've all seen what happens to those in the public eye when they face unsubstantiated allegations but what happens to 'ordinary' people - how are their lives affected? This film matters because we need to tell their story - a story which could quite easily be any of our stories.
At the very heart of our criminal justice system is the principle that it is fair, though the reality is that the system itself is far from fair for those falsely accused. We need show what actually happens and we need to have an honest discussion - My Sweet FA will do that.
Director / Producer
Mark is a freelance director and producer working in the East Midlands. He produced his first professional video over a decade ago while hanging from the back of a Jeep! Since then he's had a variety of roles and he's worked on a range of productions for both the corporate sector and for charities. He has a passion for filmmaking, cinematography and visual storytelling.
Mark will draw on his own personal experience of facing a false allegation in order to tell the story of others facing the same ordeal.
Ruellyn has produced videos for both the corporate and charitable sectors. Her approach is to get the best out of people, whether they are company CEOs appearing on camera for the first time or the head of a charity looking to raise awareness for their good causes.
It is anticipated that the majority of the production will be undertaken by Mark and Ruellyn, with other members of the crew being brought in as and when needed, particularly in post-production and distribution. We will keep all sponsors of the project up to date via My Sweet FA's dedicated Facebook page.
Our total budget for this documentary is £20,000. This is a professional production, and we need to raise the money to cover the costs and produce the best film possible. We will keep expenditure to an absolute minimum with every single penny raised being carefully spent to get the best quality production. Both the Director and Producer have agreed to work for the film for National Minimum Wage, due to the subject matter and the passion they feel towards making the project a success. Here's a budgetary breakdown:
NB: This production is not-for-profit and in the event of a surplus being generated it will be donated to sympathetic good causes and charities.
There are other ways you can support this project, and we’d be extremely grateful for any additional help.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this page - we really appreciate it. Even if you can't help the project by making a donation you can still help support us by sharing this page on your social media pages.
The My Sweet FA team x