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Documentary

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

Excellence-LOGO-Gold

★★★★ 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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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, Female Directors, filmmaking, Press, Publicists, Release, reviews, Screenings, Still Loved

Little White Lies article about Still Loved

5th November 2016

A brave new film gives a voice to the families of stillborn babies

Documentary Still Loved uncovers stories of love, hope and courage.

Why is stillbirth such a conversation stopper in a society that sees 7,000 babies born dead every day? That’s the question posed in a vital new feature documentary called Still Loved, which investigates the meagre support system provided to the families affected by this issue, giving them a much-needed voice.

Three years in the making, the film begins with a candle-lit vigil on International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day commemorating these children, attended by the parents and siblings who have experienced the tragedy of stillbirth. Comprising interviews that expose the emptiness and loneliness that these parents felt following their heartbreaking ordeals, director Debbie Howard seeks to offset the deafening silence that characterises their experiences. By doing so, she reveals a shocking negligence of support both professionally and personally over a topic stigmatised by what the stiff upper-lip’s of this world dub embarrassing emotionality.

Still Loved demonstrates that the physical loss of a baby is not considered in conjunction with the mental support these parents urgently need in order to cope with the passing of a child they’d created, developed a relationship with, and who had died in the hours it was anticipated that he or she would be welcomed into the world. More than a lack of closure, there is a distinct lack of compassion for the unexpected and often sudden news that their baby won’t survive, even down to definitions. One woman’s birth was signed off as an abortion, another as a stillbirth when medical negligence was the true culprit.

Hope, however, prevails, as it follows the families in their recovery, documenting the different coping mechanisms they individually apply. One starts a charity, one chairs a charity, one refuses to have another child. The process of moving on is hard, but we witness that too, as the families continue to honour their offspring’s memory. In a time of celebrating an exciting new hello, stillbirth is a poignant, shattering goodbye, and Still Loved rights a wrong in educating audiences on the importance of treating the subject with the action and compassion it deserves.

Still Loved is in cinemas across the UK now. Visit stilllovedfilm.com/screenings to find out where the film is showing near you.

Watch trailer here:

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

Televisual blog about Still Loved

28th October 2016

Director Debbie Howard on shooting her first feature doc, Still Loved

Blog
20 October 2016

I set up Big Buddha Films ten years ago and have made many short films, both fiction and documentary. My latest short film, Peekaboo, was about stillbirth. When I finished it I knew I wanted to make a feature documentary about baby loss as it was something I had become very passionate about. So I started work on Still Loved.

I now realise the enormity of that decision. For a first time feature documentary maker to make a film about one of the society’s biggest taboos was no small task. There is so much stigma around baby loss. No wants to talk about it even though one in four pregnancies end in a loss. We dealt with closed doors from the industry all along the way. We were continuously told, “There is no interest in this subject.” This shocked me. I think the point of documentaries is to educate and challenge attitudes, to make change. But I didn’t give up.

Four years later and we are now releasing Still Loved into cinemas across the UK in October, during Baby Loss Awareness Month. We have a Distributor onboard CatnDocs and we screen at our first two film festivals in November. We have made a powerful, sensitive, thought-provoking film that I am very proud of.

We shot Still Loved over 3 years working closely with seven families. Most of the film was shot on a Sony PMW 200. Our DoP, Emma Dalesman did an incredible job. For scenes that needed a certain look we used a Canon C300 with sliders and macro lenses and a Sony FS7. We also used a drone and Go Pro’s and some of the contributors also self shot on small video cameras and phones for a much more personal feel.

We filmed close-up intimate shots of the babies items on motion control with Charlie Paul at Itch Studio. They specialise in working with documentary filmmakers and have a truly creative approach to examining and treating memorabilia, photos, archive film and materials in an innovative way to tailor a unique style for each of the films they work on.  Charlie used a DSLR camera with long focal length macro lenses mounted on the rig. He shot high resolution time-lapse sequences which allowed us to move the camera at exceptionally slow speeds with shallow depth of field and long exposure shutter speeds.

Still Loved was beautifully edited by Joby Gee and the Supervising Sound Editor was George Foulgham. Post production was completed at Molinare, London.

http://www.stilllovedfilm.com
@StillLovedDoc / @BigBuddhaFilms

Documentary, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved preview at The Void

11th November 2015
This week we had our third private preview screening of Still Loved at The Void Cinema, part of Hallam University in Sheffield. This was an opportunity for friends, family and sponsors who had missed the last screening to catch the film.
We did a short Q&A after the film with Director Debbie Howard, Producer Colin Pons and one of the mum’s from the film Julie Cooke.
Once again the film was incredibly well received by the audience and we got some fantastic feedback. Here are a few of the quotes from our audience:

“A brave, heartfelt and beautiful film with an honesty and integrity like nothing I’ve seen before.”
Leon Lockley, filmmaker

“So raw, true & honest.”
Alice Watts

“A beautiful, touching and poignant film.”
Julie Higginson

Thanks to everyone that came along and suppored us. And a special thank you to Dave Chapman for your incredibly support recently in these later stages of the film.
In other news, we’ve finished the picture edit on the 52′ broadcast version of Still Loved now, and just have the sound mix to complete. We’re also a few days away from a new 2 minute trailer and a new poster. All will be revealed soon!
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.

Continue Reading…

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, Post Production, Still Loved

Still loved is finished!

25th July 2015

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These are amazing words to write! Finally, we have completed the film. After three long years and a great deal of hard work, it is done. That’s a fantastic feeling.

This week we finished the on line with Des Murray and the Sound Mix with Nas Pardesh and George Foulgham at Molinare. Colin Pons, our Producer joined me yesterday to watch and sign off the film and we’re absolutely delighted with the final outcome.

The lovely Molinare team came in with lots of fizz and cake for a celebration at the end. The sound team were joined by Tom Rogers, Sales Exec and Sarah Kinsella our Post Production Supervisor. Molinare have been wonderful to work with, what a lovely bunch of people and a great place to work. They have made a superb job of the post production on Still Loved.

So we still have many months of hard work ahead now the film is finished. Marketing, distribution and outreach. We also have to make a shorter TV version and a trailer. We need to do submissions to film festivals, poster, DVD extras etc. So our work is not yet over. But it’s a huge landmark to have got this far and completed the actual film.

Enormous thanks to every single person that has worked on the film or supported us in any way, that’s a very long list as we’ve had so much help from many fantastic people.

I look forward to announcing our premiere soon!

Hooray!