Director Biography – Clare-Louise English (MY DARLING CHRISTOPHER)

Clare-Louise is a deaf actor and theatre-maker who lost her hearing as a teenager. Daughter of the late TV and film actor, Arthur English, Clare-Louise trained at RADA on the MA Theatre Lab course and is Co-Founder of Hot Coals Productions, alongside Jo Sargeant.
For the last 8 years Hot Coals have been making Deaf and hearing accessible theatre. They bring this wealth of experience in inclusive story-telling to My Darling Christopher which marks their first move into film, as a company, and Clare’s directorial debut.

Director Statement

The process of making MY DARLING CHRISTOPHER has been a huge learning curve for me, I knew that I wanted to bring everything that I have learnt over many years of accessible story-telling to this project and I believe that myself and my team have been successful in transferring our skills from theatre to film.

MY DARLING CHRISTOPHER is part of a larger project, which is to make a feature length film of Clive, our main protagonists, life. This short gave me a great opportunity to look more closely at one brief moment of that larger story and at the character of Dorothy, Clive’s mother.

There are many war films out there, but none telling the story from a uniquely Deaf perspective.
This film has meant I could experiment with combining 3 language styles into one piece: Captioned English, British Sign Language and Visual Vernacular. This has been exciting because I have been able to let the story itself dictate which language should be used at what moment and this is certainly something that I want to do with the feature, and continue to keep pushing the boundaries of film making and making original pieces of work.

By femalefilmfestival

The irony of this festival is that its goal is to not be around in 5 years time. To eventually not be relevant because there is zero need to have a festival geared for female talent and female stories because the stories presented in Hollywood and around the world are a balanced showcase of the human experience from both sexes. Our goal is to achieve a lot of success and then fold into oblivion simply because there is no need for this festival. This festival was created by the FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival as a simple reaction to a strong need to showcase female talent from around the world in a more profound way. When putting together the weekly festival, the administration noticed a lack of a female presence in the stories being shown at the festival. A classic example and analogy to the frustration is how the festival noticed that even the smaller roles in a screenplay were written for a man to play. There was zero reason for this in many stories. How a police officer, or a political campaign manager, for example with 3-4 lines in a screenplay was a "HE" character. Why? And these are the screenplays written by the winners! The talented one who have obtained agents and have began/beginning their careers as a writer.

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