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Award, Award of Excellence, Big Buddha Films, Debbie Howard, Documentary, Female Directors, Female Filmmakers, Film Festivals, filmmaking, Impact Docs Award, Press, Still Loved

Still Loved documentary Wins ‘Award of Excellence’ in Impact DOCS Awards Competition

28th July 2017

Still Loved documentary Wins ‘Award of Excellence’ in Impact DOCS Awards Competition

Sheffield based Debbie Howard of Big Buddha Films has won a prestigious Award of Excellence, from The Impact DOCS Awards Competition. The award was given for Debbie Howard’s compelling documentary Still Loved, which explores the complexity and reality for families surviving baby loss. Giving an unexpected voice to bereaved fathers, who speak candidly for the first time providing an additional perspective to that offered by mothers, grandparents and siblings. This is a brave, inclusive and ultimately life affirming film, for anyone that has ever, or will ever, lose someone they love.

Watch the trailer

“We are thrilled to receive this award. Still Loved has been an incredibly challenging film to make due to the stigma and taboo surrounding stillbirth. Our team have worked passionately on this film for three years working closely with the seven families featured in the film. After being told many times not to make this film and that there is no audience for it, we released the film into cinemas last year to packed houses and many sold out screenings. We received fantastic reviews in the press and receiving this award is a great endorsement for us. Unless people see this film, attitudes towards baby loss won’t change, and it desperately needs to. We hope now that one of the national television channels will be courageous enough to broadcast this film so that it reaches a wider audience and breaks the silence around baby loss, which affects thousands of families every year. Thanks so much for this incredible award.”  – Director, Debbie Howard.

Ways to watch Still Loved


★★★★ The Guardian  “Remarkable Candour”
★★★★★ Vulture Hound  “Vital viewing”

Impact DOCS recognizes film, television, videography and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Documentaries were received from 30 countries, including veteran award winning filmmakers and fresh new talent.  Entries were judged by highly qualified and award winning professionals in the film and television industry.

In winning an Impact DOCS award, Big Buddha Films joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award including the Oscar winning director Louie Psihoyos for his 2016 Best of Show – Racing Extinction, Oscar winner Yael Melamede for (Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies, and Emmy Award winner Gerald Rafshoon for Endless Corridors narrated by Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, and many more.

Rick Prickett, who chairs Impact DOCS, had this to say about the latest winners,The judges and I were simply blown away by the variety and immensely important documentaries we screened. Impact DOCS is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent. Impact DOCS helps set the standard for craft and creativity as well as power catalysts for global change. The goal of Impact DOCS is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve for their dedication and work.”

For more information about Still Loved
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For more information about Big Buddha Films
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Award, Best Documentary, Documentary, Feature Film, Female Directors, Female Filmmakers, Festivals, Film Festivals, filmmaking, Screenings, Still Loved, Women in Film

Still Loved wins Best Documentary award

24th July 2017

We’re delighted that Still Loved won the ‘Best Documentary’ award at High Peak Independent Film Festival this weekend. With tough competition from some other feature docs, we’re thrilled to have been honoured with this award, giving recognition to the film and also to stillbirth and baby loss.

Big thanks to Festival Director Nicole Pott and her team at HPIFF 2017 for their hard work and hospitality at this festival.


Documentary, Festivals, Film Festivals, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved at i Docs in Beijing, China

27th November 2016

Written by Debbie Howard.

Still Loved was invited to screen at i Docs International Documentary Forum in Beijing, China on Tuesday 15th November 2016 by festival Director Cherelle Zheng.

It was with enormous excitement that I travelled to China on 13th November, leaving straight from Cork Film Festival in Ireland where Still Loved had screened the night before.

After a long flight I was greeted at the airport by one of the volunteers from the festival and taken to the hotel in a traditional hotong of old style Beijing. I had already missed the first few days of the festival, due to the screening in Cork Film Festival, and was jet lagged and exhausted on arrival. After a quick nap I met up with one of the other filmmakers who was in the hotel, Karen Guthrie Who’s film The Closer We Get was screening that night. It was great to meet Karen and she escorted me down to the Beijing Film Academy to meet the team and all the other film makers from around the world.


A beautiful banquet had been arranged for everyone at a nearby restaurant. What an incredible first night treat this was, with exceptional food and great company. After that I went to see The Closer We Get, a moving, beautiful film about her family secret that was both funny and sad and wonderful.The following night was the screening of Still Loved. Nothing could have prepared me for this experience. Over 1000 people turned up to see Still Loved, crowded into the packed cinema, it was quite an experience! Watching the film subtitled into Mandarin and listening to the reaction of such a large audience was very moving.

The Q&A afterwards was an experience I will never forget. A Q&A with so many people is quite complicated, especially with a translator and language issues. This lasted about 15 minutes because the next day was a much more in depth discussion about the film in a two hour masterclass. After the screening, several people waiting behind for me to sign their tickets as memorabilia.  The following day the masterclass I gave was hosted by Melanie Ansley Of China Hollywood. A filmmaker from LA that works in both the US and China. This was an extensive discussion about the making of the film and gave hundreds of people the opportunity to ask more in depth questions, again via two translators and also Melanie was able to clear up any misunderstandings that were still confusing.

​Still Loved was very well received, but it was very interesting screening to this audience with such a difficult cultural frame of reference. Some people had said how much they had cried in the film, others were very angry and others confused. For a culture that until recently had a one child only policy, termination is common here and especially the termination of girls. So I was told that they don’t really bond with the baby until it is born, and that a baby that has died would not be considered a human being. So it must have been quite hard for them to understand the feelings of the families in the film.

This was not the case for everyone though. Some people were clearly very moved and it maybe brought up feelings about their own terminations that they had chosen not to give much thought to until now.

Many people stayed behind to ask personal questions after the masterclass had finished. Someone told me her friend had recently had a stillbirth and asked how best to support her. There were many personal questions and I could see that for some the film had really moved them, and for others they were angry, but this was also useful I thought because it had opened up a debate and started a thought process, which is always the beginning of change.

We had an expression of interest from a Chinese documentary distributor who is very interested in buying the film for a Chinese audience. We’ll be passing this onto our international sales agent CatnDocs.

It was a complicated and difficult experience, but one that I very much am delighted to have had the chance to have. One indeed, that I will never forget.

I then enjoyed several more days of films and masterclasses from the other filmmakers.

I’d like to say an enormous thank you to Cherelle, Lulu and Candice and everyone at i Docs for inviting us. It was wonderful to meet them and all the other filmmakers from around the world. What an incredible experience China has been and I’m thrilled that so many people came to see Still Loved there.

Once the festival ended I stayed on for a few more days getting the most out of my opportunity to be in China. I packed in as much as I could visiting the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, Houhai Lakes, Tiananmen Square, The Lama Temple and exploring the hotongs and markets.

Still Loved is now available on Vimeo on Demand. You can watch it HERE

Documentary, Festivals, Film Festivals, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved at Cork Film Festival, Ireland

27th November 2016

Written by Debbie Howard.

Documentary, Festivals, Film Festivals

Edinburgh Film Festival 2015

24th June 2015

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Documentary, Festivals, Film Festivals

Sheffield Doc Fest 2015

11th June 2015

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The Still Loved team have just spent a busy and incredibly productive week at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, one of the world’s best film documentary film festivals – and in our home town.

It was a very busy week for us, having many meetings and promoting Still Loved to programers, exhibitors and distributors around the world.

We had a lot of interest from Distributors and Sales Agents, but are still considering all our options at the moment. There was a great deal of excitment and support for Still Loved and we can’t wait for the film to be completed and get the film out to film festivals as soon as possible.

We saw some fantastic films at the festival this year including our talented friend and Sheffield filmmaker Dan Gordon’s Match 64: The Maracanā along with Relish, a short film about Sheffield’s favourite sauce: Henderson’s Relish. Dark Horse was a firm favouirte, Directed by Louise Osmond and Edited by Still Loved editor Joby Gee. Other highlights were My Beautiful Broken Brain Directed by Lotje Sodderland and Sophie Robinson, A Syrian Love Story by Sean McAllister, The Russian Woodpecker Directed by Chad Gracia, Kim Longinotto’s Dreamcatcher and Kirby Dick’s The Hunting Ground amogst many others. We now have 3 months to watch all the ones we missed on the Videotech.

Continue Reading…

Documentary, Film Festivals, Still Loved

Berlin Film Festival

10th February 2015

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Our Director, Debbie Howard, and Producer, Colin Pons have just come back from a trip to Berlinale – Berlin Film Festival.

Their main focus was to meet with international film Distributors and Sales Agents, as well as Film Festival Programmers, potential funders and ‘friends of the film’ all of which will help reach the full potential for screenings for Still Loved around the world.

We set up many meetings and Still Loved was incredibly well received with some very promising meetings all of which will be followed up on now we have returned. We were absolutely thrilled with the response to our documentary, and there was great interest from many film festivals and distribution companies.

We attended some fantastic panel discussions with documentary experts to get some great tips.  We also managed to see a couple of films – always surprisingly difficult at festivals in between meetings. We saw 45 Years a beautiful film Directed by Andrew Haigh, with wonderful performances by Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling. We also saw the documentary Dark Horse directed by Louise Osmond. This was a truly magnificent gem that had us laughing and crying the whole way through. Dark Horse was Edited by Joby Gee, our Editor on Still Loved, who did a fantastic job. The film just won the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at Sundance Film Festival. See these films if you get the opportunity.

Another highlight was the lovely Spiegeltent in the form of the Gropius Mirror restaurant at the festival. This lovely venue hosted some very delicious lunches/business meetings during our visit.

Big thanks to all those at Berlinale that made the festival such a great success. We’ll keep you posted with our follow up once we’ve had time to make contact with everyone we met in a super jam packed 4 day visit!
Festivals, Film Festivals, Girl with the World in Her Hair, Screenings, short film

American Festivals invite our films!

29th December 2013

We’ve had a run of invites recently for some of our short films, to film festivals in the USA.

The Girl with the World in Her Hair has been invited to screen at:

The 9th Annual Children’s Film Festival Seattle 

The 9th Annual REDCAT International Children’s Film Festival in Los Angeles


The New York International Children’s Film Festival

Peekaboo has been invited to be part of the American Online Film Awards which will take part in New York in Spring 2014

It’s lovely to be invited to screen at these events and we look forward to seeing how our films go down.

Documentary, Film Festivals

Fantastic news for our interns

22nd July 2013

Big congratulations to our interns!!

We had three fantastic interns working with us on the first phase of our documentary Still Born, Still Loved before Christmas who have all gone onto getting great paid work now – no wonder as they’re all fantastic!

Amy Garrod has now landed a great job with Bruizer Film and Video Agency in Suffolk.

Cat Marshall is now working with the fantastic Warp Films here in Sheffield.

Isla Baddenoch has been working with the fab Sheffield Doc Fest team.

This so so well deserved for these three fabulous young women who gave us invaluable volunteer help for several months. Lets hope Emily Axon and Loui Foster who are working with us now go onto such great things too!

Documentary, Festivals, Film Festivals, Still Loved

Sheffield Documentary Festival 2013

11th June 2013

Tomorrow, 12th June, is the start of the Sheffield Doc Fest and we’ll be there bright and early to begin an exciting week.

BW Mel crying

We’ll be watching lots of films of course, but also having many meetings about our new documentary Still Loved

We had a pre festival meeting tonight with Elhum Shakerifar from Birds Eye View Film Festival, who was incredibly helpful. Tomorrow morning we’re meeting Emily Best from Seed and Spark to discuss crowdfunding and new ways of getting films out to audiences. Later in the week we’ll be meeting with Oli Harbottle, Head of Distribution at Dogwoof, Sheri Candler, digital marketing strategist, Beatrice Neumann, Acquisitions at The Works Film Group, Peter Gerard CEO at Distrify, Lindsey Keith from The Refinery and Editor Suzie Brand, as well as many other filmmakers, distributors, and Producers. We’ll also be pitching at the mini meet market on Friday and attending the Roundtable mulit platform event.
It’s going to be a busy and exciting week and we (Colin Pons, Polly Perkins and Debbie Howard) are really looking forward to it. Let’s go!