English director Simon Blake’s debut feature, STILL, starring Aidan Gillen, has its North American premier at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival on today at 5:30P.M. @ the AMC : River East. (additional screenings: 10/12 at 5:15 PM and 10/15at 2:30 PM).
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Tom Carver (Gillen Game of Thrones, Calvary) is a man stumbling blindly towards a crossroads in his life, thrown out of focus by the death of his teenage son a year earlier in a car accident. He is a talented photographer whose career has largely been unfulfilled. A chance and seemingly unimportant confrontation between Tom and a fifteen year old boy brings his life and responsibilities to the fore. A battle of wills between Tom and the gang of kids develops, seemingly trivial and childish altercations begin to take a considerable sinister direction. Tom retreats ever inwards as his life starts to unravel, until at last it reaches its painful and shattering climax.
In an recent interview Simon Blake noted that “of all my projects, STILL is the film I am most deeply attached to, the one that refused to go away. Written during a six-month period soon after I had lost my mother but gained a beautiful son. Experiencing first hand a deep sense of grief and yet at the same time the intense love you have for your child – realizing how vulnerable you are as a parent. The themes in STILL of parental responsibility, loss, youth crime, alcoholism and how men deal with failure all seem as pertinent now as they were then. I cannot imagine anything worse than to lose a child, nailed to a future without end. It is that element that tips STILL into the horror genre of films like Don’t Look Now. I wanted to investigate the way grief can imprison you, Tom is utterly blocked and that inertia is the trigger for events to begin to spiral out of control”.
Director Simon Blake and producer Colette Delaney-Smith will attend the screenings on October 11th and October 12th.
Winner of the Best International First Feature Award at the 2014 Galway Film Fleadh the film has been described by audiences as: Hauntingly beautiful * Dark and brilliant * Compelling * The uncomfortable truth about modern urban England * Get Carter for the Noughties
In Competiton: New Directors