British Winters – a community filmmaking success story

British Winters is based on book of the same title, written by the film’s director Andrew Turner.

After finishing university in 2008, Andrew was keen to do something creative. Without the resources to put his idea on the big screen he decided to write his novel, British Winters (available on Amazon.co.uk).

The story is about Noel Winters, a lazy procrastinating youth who is no longer young enough to pull that lifestyle off. The film follows this hapless protagonist through the festive season and into the new year.  Noel is disillusioned with himself as much as the outside world but he draws inspiration from his younger adopted sister, Hannah, a ray of sunny optimism in his blinkered outlook on life. The adaptation to film came along with the start of TAPE’s Coastline Film
Festival
.

With a budget of just £20,000, the TAPE team created jobs, bought equipment and brought people together to collaborate on the project. The finished film supported involvement from over 100 people, with over 50% of those requiring additional support of some kind to take part.

The the film premiered in 2016 and has subsequently toured cinemas around the UK, festivals in Europe and screened to ministers and guests at the Senedd in Cardiff. A ministerial screening in Westminster is planned for the Autumn ahead of the film going into the archive at the BFI who have also used the film as a case study for promoting inclusion.

Links to further information can be found here: CASE STUDY – IMDB – BBFC
“British Winters is a tremendous achievement” 
Jimmy McGovern
 “TAPE is living inclusion through the work that you are doing and it mirrors so much of our ambition set out in our 2022 strategy. We want everybody across all of our nations and regions to engage with film. When people come together and work as a community, you get a richness of storytelling and skills that the mainstream industry just isn’t harnessing at the moment. We’d like that to change.” 
Jennifer Smith, Head of Inclusion at the BFI
“We were delighted to screen British Winters as the final feature film of the Together! 2017 Disability Film Festival. The story of how the film was created was impressive, but we selected it because of the quality of the acting, writing and production, aiming for consistency of standard across the three evenings. I personally enjoyed seeing British Winters on the big screen very much, and look forward to the next production. I also look forward to finding out more about this unique style of filmmaking, which is being pioneered in Wales but can be learned from around the world.”
Dr Ju Gosling FRSA – Artistic Director – Together! 2012 C.I.C.
“British Winters is beautiful, touching and a triumph of a film, showing that amazing things happen when communities come together.” 
Carys Nelkon, Service manager at Arts Emergency!
“I thought ‘British Winters’ was one of the best examples of a community made film I have ever seen. From talking to participants it was obviously an excellent process to be involved with, people felt supported and taken seriously. I thought the production values were very high and it was hard to believe that none of the performers were trained actors. I hope that the film will be screened across the country as an example of an excellent inclusive project, and what can be achieved when a trusted organisation like TAPE works with their community. Congratulations to all involved.”
 Sara Beer, Regional Officer, Disability Arts Cymru