Keep Breathing - Short Film

by Emmeline Hartley in Derby, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 24th September 2018 we successfully raised £10,930 with 221 supporters in 35 days

To explore the nuances around Sexual Consent and encourage a much-needed discussion.

by Emmeline Hartley in Derby, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The budget we have pulled together is the absolute minimum we need in order to make the film and pay our crew a small fee. Currently, we have limitations with our equipment, costumes, locations and post-production. Extra finance would really help us to have more flexibility and make a better quality production, and could also feed into our distribution & accessibility plan that we would otherwise be raising money for separately.

11/10/18: UPDATE: Our crowdfunding campaign has ended and we'd like to thank everyone for the incredible response and donations! We could not be doing this without you. There's so many aspects to production so if you still wish to contribute in any way, we'd love to hear from you. We will be going into production late February. Please also feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to share your experiences.


Title: Keep Breathing

Format: Short film

Genre: Drama

Logline: Trapped in a lift, a man and woman are forced to confront each other about the night they first met.


In our on-going survey:

  • 76% of women and 25% of men say that someone has had sex with them without their consent
  • 84% of these did not report it to the police
  • 59% of these said it was because they did not identify it as a crime

Clearly, we need to have a conversation.

Let’s take a minute to think about rape and assault in movies.

It is very often depicted as an attack. Pre-meditated violence.

The victims are left hurt. Cut. Bruised. Sometimes even close to death.

The perpetrators are often abusive partners. Psychopaths. Stalkers. Criminals.

But reality isn’t always like that. Often, the lines are blurred. There are grey areas. Mixed signals. Misinterpretations. Intoxication. Pressure. Coercion. Lack of communication. Selfishness. Disrespect. People can walk away physically unscathed but still be left hurt, confused, or worse.

We believe all non-consensual sex is a form rape but we don't hear much about it when it’s less black and white. Perhaps it’s because people feel like it’s not a big deal, or perhaps it’s because they assume there’s not enough evidence to take it further. Or, perhaps, it’s because people don’t identify it as rape, or as something wrong. The circumstances we will be exploring in the film are some that are barely represented on our screens, and barely talked about in the media, and when it is, victims are often blamed. Why didn't you push them off? Why didn't you leave? Why did you go there if you didn't want to have sex? This is what we need to change.

Keep Breathing is a powerful and incisive look at attitudes towards consent and victim blaming. It has a tightly plotted script that challenges two characters who do not conform to the normal portrayals of victim and perpetrator. This is real and very common, yet both parties often have very different perceptions about what they’ve encountered. Not every victim of rape says no, and not every perpetrator fully understands the extent of what they’ve done. This film will engage the audience, provoke thought, provide a voice and encourage discussion, which is the essential next step towards changing attitudes.

This film is based on our co-writer’s experiences who, due to lack of education on the issue, wasn’t able to identify it as anyone's fault but her own, which sent her down a disruptive path.

So let’s educate.


We will update this section as and when we confirm cast & crew.





Mark has over twenty years’ experience in the entertainment industry. After graduating from a theatre degree he set up a video production company, directing music programmes, dance-work, and theatrical shows. Returning to TV, he quickly began directing on The Gadget Show but soon transferred into drama. TV credits as an Assistant Director include Casualty, Holby City, BAFTA award winning Katie Morag, and hit BBC comedy Man like Mobeen. Recently, he was 2nd AD on features Zoo and Swimming with Men, both of which were released theatrically this summer. Mark intends to become a director in his own right, utilising his years of experience working alongside industry professionals to create incredible films of his own.


Producer / Co-writer


Emmeline is a producer based in Derby. She has produced a number of short films including ‘Cadence’, which was funded and released by the AA Charitable Trust as part of a national road safety campaign. It was broadcast on Sky News, mentioned in several newspapers and gained approximately 1million views online across various different news and social media platforms. Her other projects include the award winning ‘Clockworks’, ‘After Party’, ‘The Right Swipe’ and ‘Hunted’. Emmeline has also worked in production on a couple of feature films, including ‘Madness In The Method’ due for release this year, and she runs the East Midlands’ largest industry networking event called the Film & TV Tweetup.




Derbyshire born Tommy is a writer of both short and feature films. Tommy has won many awards for his short films and was BAFTA long-listed for Stop/Eject. His zombie feature film debut, Wasteland, has been released on DVD in America, Germany and Japan. He currently has 3 short films at international festivals, the fantasy film Songbird, and 2 German productions Du Sollst Nicht Lugen and Der Letzte Tropfen. In 2018, Tommy has collaborated with an animation company in South Korea, writing a draft of their feature. Along with this, he has been writing several more screenplays for companies in the UK.

WOMEN’S WORK (Derbyshire)


Women’s Work are a charity who have a 15 year history of working with and supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged women living in our community, achieving positive outcomes for many of the 850+ women they currently support every year. With external evaluations of a number of their projects, they continue to learn and develop best practice in working with women with multiple needs.

They delivered a project in local schools, called ‘We Matter’, which addressed issues of relationships and consent among young people. Forming a partnership with local filmmakers to produce ‘Keep Breathing’ is a natural next step to develop the preventative side of the charity’s work and an appropriate follow on from the ‘We Matter’ project. 

Why not join the charity staff on 1st September at their Charity Ball? It’s a special Black Tie event to celebrate the charity’s 15 year anniversary with a delicious buffet, quality entertainment and fundraising activities. The film’s production team and friends will be there, and it’ll be held at the Rolls Royce Pavilion in Derby.

Buy your ticket here!


Although we are still yet to confirm our crew for this production, we can already say that it’s shaping up to be a wonderfully diverse team with approximately 75% of the roles being filled by women including 7 out of 10 Heads of Department. This is a film where women’s voices and experiences are going to be integral to the story and its message. We will ensure that everyone is heard.


We will update this section as and when we confirm our locations.


We will be filming in and around Derby City, and this is where the majority of crew will be based. We’ll be shooting in a studio, a nightclub, a car park, a taxi and an apartment, and we’ll be working closely with the University of Derby.

Once the film is completed, we’ll be delivering the first part of our prevention programme in Derby, and arranging a screening at Derby QUAD.



We are going to submit this short film to as many suitable film festivals around the world as we can. This will help to create a buzz about the film and we hope that it will be a strong talking point for festival audiences.


We will be delivering workshops and assemblies to as many schools and colleges as possible, starting in Derby and then rolling it out nationally. We'll put together an assembly pack with a copy of the film, a presentation, suggested discussion points, and the research and data we are currently collecting.

We'll also be working with universities to reach as many students as we can with free screenings and events on campuses.


Once the film has completed its festival circuit, we will design and launch an online campaign in hope to widen the discussion and get lots of people involved across all communities.


As always with our short films, we will hold a Derby premiere for Keep Breathing and send it to local film screenings such as Five Lamps Films in Derby, Short Stack in Nottingham, Showroom Shorts in Sheffield as well as many others.


Our total budget for the film is £20,000. We are aiming to raise 50% with our crowdfunding campaign, and 50% with other organisations and funding bodies. The reason we have divided it up this way is because we feel that these lower targets are far more reachable than trying to raise the full amount with one or the other.

This is a professional production. We are raising money to cover the costs of all the essential elements we need in place to make this film possible. Cast & crew, set build, production design, equipment hire, post-production etc. Every single penny will be considered and spent carefully to ensure we can get the best quality production. Please see a breakdown below:


NB: This is a professional film production and we will have approximately 20-25 crew & cast members. Due to financial strains, our team (so far) have agreed to work for National Minimum Wage due to the subject matter and charitable cause. This production is not-for-profit.


There are other ways you can support this project, and we’d be extremely grateful for any additional help.


Sharing this campaign to your friends and network could be extremely beneficial for us. The more people who know about it, the better. We'll be sure to look out for your social media posts and give you a follow!


You could like us on Facebook and give us a follow on Twitter and Instagram. All the links are below. This helps us to create a support network for the project, and we will post regular updates on our progress.





When we were in the research & development stages of the film, we were trying to compile some data so we could really hit home how this issue was affecting so many people. Unfortunately, due to the amount of grey areas in the situations we are exploring, it has been difficult to find this information. We decided to conduct our own research so that when it comes to delivering the project to schools, colleges, universities and online, we can support our message with our findings and statistics.

The link for the survey is here!


Thank you so much for reading this page, watching our video and supporting this project. It means more to us than we could ever tell you, and we can't wait to share with you the finished production.

We’d just like to take this opportunity to also thank the team that helped us put our campaign video together:

  • Alex Stroud (sound & post-production)
  • Louis Vella (cinematographer)
  • Melissa O’Brien (actor)
  • Peter Boulton-Lear (actor)
  • University of Derby & Student Living staff

You're all incredible! Thank you!

Best wishes,

The Keep Breathing team x


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£5 or more


We are extremely grateful for any donation and your name will appear in the film's credits.

£10 or more

Private link

You will receive a password-protected link to the film when it is complete, approximately 1 year before it goes online. (We'll need you to agree not to share it with anyone!) You will also receive the £5 reward listed above.

£20 or more

Wrap party

Join our cast and crew as we celebrate the end of a gruelling shoot. Date & location TBC (Derby). With this reward, you will also receive the £5 and £10 rewards listed above.

£30 or more

Production Bundle

Receive a bundle of our production documents: scripts (of varying drafts), mood boards, strip board, production schedule, call sheets, information pack, shot lists, BTS photos & videos etc. With this reward, you will also receive the £5, £10 and £20 rewards listed above.

£50 or more

Cast & Crew screening

Come along to our cast and crew screening to celebrate the project before it's distribution phase! With this reward, you will also receive the £5, £10, £20 and £30 rewards listed above.

£80 or more

Whatsapp channel

We'll invite the recipients of this reward into a Whatsapp channel with the director, producer and some of the crew who will update you every day of the shoot with photos, video clips and sneak peaks from behind the scenes. We'll also be able to answer any questions and give updates on the progress of the film while in the post-production and distribution stages. As well as this, you'll receive the £5, £10, £20, £30 and £50 rewards above.

£100 or more

Signed script

With this reward, you'll receive a script covered in personalised thank you messages, signatures and sketches from the cast and crew. You'll also receive the £5, £10, £20, £30, £50 and £80 rewards listed above.

£150 or more


Get your hands on one of our crew t-shirts with the 'Keep Breathing' logo on the front and 'CREW' printed on the back. You'll also receive the £5, £10, £20, £30, £50, £80 and £100 rewards listed above!

£200 or more

Film package

You'll receive a 'Keep Breathing' DVD which also features two of our other short films: 'Clockworks' and 'The Right Swipe', along with some BTS material! You will also receive the £5, £10, £20, £30, £50, £80, £100 and £150 rewards listed above.

£250 or more

On-set experience

Join us on set for half a day (TBA) with a plus one. Watch what's going on and have a chat with some of our production team. You'll be welcome to appear as an extra in our nightclub scene if you'd like to, or watch all the action from the sidelines. You'll need to make your own travel arrangements- we are aiming to shoot in Derby. With this reward, you will also receive the £5, £10, £20, £30, £50, £80, £100, £150 and £200 rewards listed above

£300 or more


Do you need professional headshots for your website or LinkedIn profile? Or are you an actor and want to refresh your headshots? We will take them for you in Nottingham on a date of your choice. Includes a 60 minute session and 5 retouched images. With this reward, you will also receive the £5, £10, £20, £30, £50, £80, £100, £150, £200 and £250 rewards listed above.

£500 or more

Executive Producer credit

With this reward, we will credit you as an executive producer on the film and on IMDb. You'll be kept in the loop on any big decisions and you'll be welcome on set any time. You will also receive the £5, £10, £20, £30, £50, £80, £100, £150, £200, £250 and £300 rewards listed above.

£1,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Corporate sponsorship

Your company logo will appear in the credits and we'll give you a shoutout whenever possible. We'll also work to get your brand out there on our personal platforms too. If you'd like to discuss it in more detail, please drop us a msg on our facebook page @kbshortfilm. NB: we will not be able to attach your branding to the film if your values do not fit in line with ours (in which case we'll be in touch). You'll also receive ALL other rewards.

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