Documentary: London's last launderettes

by Sophie Nielsen in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £6,190

raised so far

101

supporters

"Washing Away" is a short film documenting London's last remaining launderettes and their fading identity on our high streets.

by Sophie Nielsen in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 7th May 2024 we'd raised £6,045 with 96 supporters in 35 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Funding for this film will pay for the basics; lunch for the crew on set, petrol and parking for 2 crew vehicles, insurance for the filming equipment and hard drives (data storage) for the footage we capture. 

Once the shooting has wrapped, the film will need to go in to post production which will increase the cost of production; 

  • Editing
  • Sound mixing
  • Colour grading 
  • and mastering

Once the film is made, I'd love to:

  • Submit it to Film Festivals (cost per submission)
  • Pay for promotional marketing
  • Host a central London screening

Retrospectively paying the crew an industry standard rate for their work to acknowledge their invaluable contributions would take us to a 50k+ fundraising target. Whilst I'd love to dream the possibilities of this happening, if we make it to the stretch target of £12K, we're committed to ensuring they receive a fair one-time payment for their dedication and talent to the project.


My Story

I’m Sophie, a filmmaker from London whose mission is to document London’s last remaining launderettes before they are washed away forever. 

As a child, my Sunday mornings were filled with the sound of whirring tumble dryers, as I sat with my mum waiting for our washing to dry at the local launderette. 

Across London, launderettes are much more than just places to do our laundry. They are a sanctuary for connection, community and symbols of an ever changing high street. But with rising rents and gentrification rife, there is dwindling hope for the future of the launderette. 

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Martinique and Helen from Laundry and Latte, Brentwood.

"Washing Away" will give insight into the resilience and determination of launderette owners across the capital as they navigate the declining landscape of the launderette industry.

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Just 5 weeks ago whilst planning for this film, I heard the news that Tower Hamlets council had pulled the shutters down on a much-loved community launderette in the Boundary Estate, just off of Shoreditch High Street. The council had the locks changed and workers were told the rent was going to increase from £2,000 to £12,000 a year. This launderette is a lifeline to many and is a real time, unfolding story of the imminent gentrification on the high streets of London, affecting the closure of these basic, yet necessary amenities.

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Dimitri from Fonthill Road Launderette, Finsbury Park

NETFLIX AND VMI

Last year, this short doc idea got me to the final of the Netflix Documentary Talent fund. After narrowly missing out on the £30K prize money, I entered a second competition with VMI - winning the ‘She’s Got This’ prize which supports women in film in by giving them free camera and grip rental for their production.

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FUNDING

I am making this film without any funding. All the crew are giving up their spare time and professional skills for free. This Crowdfunding page will raise money for the production expenses in order to get on set and finish filming, making the documentary a reality. These expenses include things like food for the crew over 6x10 hour shoot days, petrol & parking for our 2 crew vehicles over 8 locations, insurance for the free kit we've been given from VMI, and hard drives to store all of the footage on. 

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MEET THE CREW

A small group of very talented friends and colleagues of mine are kindly giving their time for free to make “Washing Away" a reality. 

I will be joined by Executive Producer Liz Robinson, Production Manager Laura Hounsell, Assistant Producer Jemaima Mendoza, and Director of Photography Jack Harrison.

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Liz Robinson, Exec Producer + Sophie, Producer/Director

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Laura Hounsell, Production Manager and Co-Producer + Jemaima Mendoza, Assistant Producer

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Jack Harrison, Director of Photography

SUSTAINABILITY

The film will be certified sustainable by Albert, the leading screen industry organisation for environmental sustainability, ensuring that our production supports a vision for a sustainable future.

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A note from the Director

In 2024, we are all glued to our screens and most of our communities have ended up online. By making this film, I hope to encourage people to not only preserve and protect the future of launderettes for generations to come, but to enrich their local communities, by just saying 'hello'. Hello to the person next to you at the bus stop, hello to the window cleaner and hello to the person behind the till at the fruit and veg shop - they may not be around for long. 

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Ivanka Grigorova from Fonthill Road Launderette, Finsbury Park.

A note on female film makers

According to research, the proportion of UK factual shows directed by women fell to 24% between August 2019 and April 2022, meaning that the number of factual TV shows in the UK directed by women has gone backwards over the past two years. By supporting Washing Away you will also be contributing to diversifying the film industry, encouraging a new generation of filmmakers to feel represented, and to broaden the range of stories available to audiences that are told by female voices.

Thank you!

Thank you to each and every person who donates to make Washing Away a reality. Every penny of support received will go directly to the making of this film. We couldn't do it without you!

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Tony Smith, Fonthill Road launderette, Finsbury Park.

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Rewards

This project offered rewards

£15 or more

The Pre Wash

A private link to the finished film and a social media shoutout

£25 or more

The Easy Care

Your name in the film credits, a private link to the film, a social media shoutout

£50 or more

The Delicate Spinner

A signed A4 Film Poster, your name in the film credits, a private link to the film, a social media media shoutout

£75 or more

The Rinse

Print: your choice of a shot from the film as an A4 print, a signed A4 Film Poster, your name in the film credits, a private link to the film, a social media media shoutout

£100 or more

The Eco Washer

Washing Away Screen Printed Tote Bag (sustainable), a signed A4 Film Poster, Name in the credits, Private link to the film

£150 or more

The Super Soaker

Washing Away Zine with BTS and Film Selects with annotations from the crew, Signed A4 Film Poster, Your name in the credits, Private link to the film, Social Media Shoutout

£300 or more

The Mixed Load

Hard back Photo Book: BTS and Film Selects with annotation from the crew, Signed A4 Film Poster, Your name in the credits, Private link to the film, Social Media Shoutout

£500 or more

The Intensive Cycle

1x invite to the premiere, A Photo Book: BTS and Film Selects with annotation from the crew, Signed A4 Film Poster, Washing Away Screen Printed Tote Bag (sustainable), Your name in the credits, Private link to the film Social Media Shoutout

£1,000 or more

The Extra Rinse

1x bottle of Champagne, an invite and a +1 to the premier, 1x Photo Book: BTS and Film Selects with annotation from the crew, 1x Signed A4 Film Poster, 1x Washing Away Screen Printed Tote Bag (sustainable), Your name in the credits, Private link to the film, Social Media Shoutout

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