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Big Buddha Films

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.

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filmmaking, Publicists, reviews, Screenings, Still Loved, Women in Film and TV

In the Spotlight – interview with Debbie Howard and Women in Film and TV UK

30th May 2017

On the 30th May, Women in Film and TV UK featured an interview with Director, Debbie Howard about the making of her feature documentary, Still Loved.

Deb WOL

We all know that getting a film made is not easy. But once you’ve achieved that part, what about the Herculean effort needed to get it out into the world?

Over the last few years WFTV has been keeping a keen eye on the progress of Still Loved, the debut feature-length documentary from former WFTV mentee Debbie Howard (above centre). The film explores the complex reality for families surviving baby loss. It’s a brave and moving documentary but – because of its challenging subject matter – it’s not an easy sell.

Undeterred, Debbie has used a number of different strategies to build an audience for the film and make sure its important message does not go unheard. So WFTV decided to catch up with her shortly after Still Loved‘s DVD release to find out how she’s done it and what tips she would pass on to fellow-filmmakers trying to get their film seen.

“From the very beginning I was told repeatedly not to make this film. People said ‘There is no audience. People won’t watch it. It’s too sad.’”

You can read the full article on the WFTV UK website here.

Documentary, Still Loved, Uncategorised

Still Loved special screening for MPs in House of Commons

14th March 2017

We’re delighted that there was a special screening of our documentary, Still Loved for MPs in the Houses of Parliament on the 13th March at 7pm.

Organised by Will Quince MP  of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Baby Loss and Tony Perkins MP, who are working hard to raise awareness of babyloss and hope to help us get Still Loved out to as wide an audience as possible and on TV.

Big thanks to Will and Toby for organising this event and let’s hope it helps to break the silence around stillbirth and baby loss. Thank you very much to all the MPs that attended the screening.

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Here are some feedback tweets:

Will Quince MP @willquince
Please ask your MP to join me in writing to the BBC Director General asking that the BBC screen the @StillLovedDoc documentary on #babyloss

Greg Mulholland @GregMulholland1
Tonight I joined @willquince & MPs to watch @StillLovedDoc, a deeply moving & remarkable film on #stillbirth #babyloss. Show it @bbctrust!

Will Quince MP @willquince
@MarcusInStroud @StillLovedDoc @BigBuddhaFilms it really is very special, moving personal accounts from very brave people.

Mark Durkan MP @markdurkan
Viewed powerful @StillLovedDoc on #babyloss by @BigBuddhaFilms in HoC tonight. Back @willquince call on BBC to rethink screening refusal.

Will Quince MP @willquince
I will be writing to the BBC Director General to encourage the BBC to show @StillLovedDoc and help break the silence on #babyloss, will you?

Gill Furniss MP @GillFurnissMP
Very moving film thanks @willquince

Will Quince MP @willquince
It was my pleasure to host a screening of the hugely moving and important film @StillLovedDoc by @BigBuddhaFilms tonight. BBC must show it.

Alice Jolly @JollyAlice
@GillFurnissMP @willquince A sincere thank you for your support of @StillLovedDoc @BigBuddhaFilms We need MPs to help us #endstillbirths

Child Bereavement UK @cbukhelp
Thank you @willquince for inviting us to the screening of @StillLovedDoc. A powerful and moving film looking at the impact of a baby’s death

Victoria Morgan @victoriaRM6
Off to see #StillLoved – being screened by the APPG on Baby Loss. Tissues at the ready. Thanks for arranging @willquince #endstillbirth

Will Quince MP @willquince
@StillLovedDoc my pleasure, we must get this film screened on the BBC. It really is beautiful and so moving. #notadryeyeinthehouse

Cinema, Documentary, Female Directors, filmmaking, Press, Release, reviews, Screenings, Still Loved

The Guardian Review for Still Loved – 4 Stars – “Remarkable Candour”

28th October 2016

Still Loved review – parental resilience and candour in the face of stillbirth

4 stars

Debbie Howard’s documentary, released for Baby Loss Awareness week, traces the arc from horror to acceptance, in interviews with bereaved parents

a still from Still Loved
Potential for consolation? An image from Still Loved

 Read in The Guardian HERE
Cinema, Documentary, Female Directors, filmmaking, Press, Release, reviews, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved article in The Observer

28th October 2016

Untold grief: the heartbreaking impact of stillbirth is revealed in new documentary

Families talk about love, hope and courage in surviving the loss of a baby in a film to be screened in cinemas this month
Lou Evans and her son visit the Sands baby memorial garden in Derby
Lou Evans and her son visit the Sands baby memorial garden in Derby. Photograph: Still Life

Still Loved, the first feature-length film to tackle the issue, will be screened at selected cinemas throughout the UK in October. Its director, Debbie Howard, hopes that the film will not only speak to those who have suffered a loss but strip away some of society’s preconceptions about how we deal with these deaths.

“I had two different friends who lost babies and I was really affected by the profound effect it had on them,” she says. “Initially, I made a short fictional film on the subject but as I did the research and spoke to families I realised there was so much to say that it would be better as a documentary. I knew the subject matter was challenging but I felt very passionately about giving parents a voice.”

Shot over three years, the often harrowing but ultimately hopeful documentary follows a handful of parents as they discuss their experiences with an at times brutal candour, laying bare both how it feels to be told that your child has died and, crucially, how and if you can find your way back to some semblance of normality. There are scenes of despair but also of bittersweet joy as families remember their babies in moving ceremonies or conceive again.

“One of the things no one ever says about stillbirth is how it affects every area of your life,” says Mel Scott, an occupational therapist from Somerset whose baby, Finley, died during labour. “I felt really isolated after Finley died. My husband had to go back to work and I was on maternity leave but with no baby.”

Making it worse was the assumption that the grief would soon pass. “It makes me cross when people say grief has a time and you should get over it,” she says. “Life might get bigger and brighter around the pain but it’s still there.”

Lou Evans, a physiotherapist from Derbyshire, agrees. “When Lauren died I wanted the whole world to know how much pain I was inand how much I continued to be in even as the years passed,” she says. “A lot of my friends and even my husband, Matt, couldn’t always understand that. They didn’t see why the time I spent at Lauren’s grave or working with the local branch of [stillbirth charity] Sandswas therapeutic. I do think people sometimes wanted me to be quiet.”

That opinion – that those who have experienced stillbirth should grieve in silence – is still common, and Howard believes it is why she initially struggled to get the film off the ground.

“I had one very established documentary maker tell me I absolutely think this film should be made but nobody will want to show it and nobody will watch it,” she says. “It was even tough getting the cinemas on board – they would say there’s no interest, and I’d get quite annoyed and write back saying how do you know that? I didn’t think it was true.”

Michelle Hemmington, whose son, Louie, died as a result of medical negligence, believes that Howard has got the balance between honest and hopeful just right. “The film’s strength is that it isn’t overly sad,” she says. “The subject is difficult but the emotions are positive.”

The film is similarly strong in its depiction of fathers, who are often ignored in the rush to ensure that the mother is cared for. “One of the big problems is that there isn’t really anything for dads,” says Matt Grove, who admits he struggled on returning to work as a police officer. “After Ben died I went for counselling, and people were almost surprised that there was a dad there.”

Grove hopes Still Loved will reach a wide audience. “If people take one thing away it is that they should always check the baby’s movement and not worry about bothering the doctors if they feel something is wrong,” he says. “If this film manages to save lives, it will be worth it.”

Still Loved is being screened as part of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

 

Documentary, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved London preview

27th October 2015

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On Wednesday 21st October we had our London preview screening of Still Loved at Molinare, Soho, where we did our post production. They have a gorgeous cinema where we held the screening.

Our audience arrived at 6.30pm and we had a couple of drinks in the bar. Our guests consisted of two of the families in the film, Beth and Steve Morris and Michelle and Paul Hemmington Buckley, some of our crew, sponsors and film industry and friends. It was a fantastic turn out.

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Documentary, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved previews to rave reviews

21st October 2015

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On Tuesday 6th October, we had our first preview screening of Still Loved in Sheffield at the Showroom Cinema with cast, crew, friends, family, sponsors and film industry. We had an amazing turn out.

“Debbie Howard’s documentary Still Loved really moved me. It was as much about human connection as it was about loss. It deserves a much wider screening. A brave and tender film.”

The audience arrived and had drinks and there was a chance for the families in the film to catch up with each other, and to meet and greet.

Kate Linderholm from BBC Radio Sheffield introduced the Filmmakers on stage and our Director, Debbie Howard gave an introductory speech and thanked our wonderful families, crew and sponsors for all their input.

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Documentary, Post Production

Still Loved picture lock

4th October 2015

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We’re absolutely delighted to have picture locked on Still Loved. This is a massive landmark moment for us and it’s fantastic to have reached this point.

We now have a three more weeks until our on line begins, to give our composer, Jack Ketch, time to complete the score. We’ll then be moving into Molinare to complete our sound mix and grade.

Enormous thanks to our Editor, Joby Gee for all the many months of hard work and dedication getting Still Loved into shape, the team at Molinare for all the technical support and to Blue Spill for their VFX. We had a couple of glasses of champagne yesterday while making the finishing touches.

We feel we have a really beautiful film. The participants in the film have watched a preview and are all very happy with their stories and that the film has been sensitively put together.  We look forward to sharing it with the world very soon.

Huge thanks to everyone that has supported us. To keep up to date with us day to day, join us on Facebook here.

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.

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