INVEST IN A UNIQUE NORTHERN STORY FOR INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCES
We are looking for investors to help us create AN ORIGINAL ART-HOUSE RURAL THRILLER set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales in winter, 'The Ceremony' is the feature debut of award winning short film and music video writer/director JACK KING filming in January 2023.
The film is being produced by LUCY MEER of Strive films, a BAFTA-longlisted producer of multiple short films with a wealth of experience working in development and production for renowned companies like Warp Films, Element Pictures, BBC and A24 and HOLLIE BRYAN of Cosmosquare Films whose short films have won multiple awards and international acclaim and is currently working as Associate Producer on Ken Loach's latest film 'The Old Oak' with Sixteen Films.
WHAT'S THE CEREMONY ABOUT?'
THE CEREMONY is a moral thriller about two migrant labourers forced to cover up the suicide of an undocumented worker, and the moral and physical trial that ensues as they endeavour give their dead friend his rightful burial in the hills at the height of winter.
Among the elements, their arguments conspire to turn their ordeal into a surreal nightmare, and the two men are forced to confront their beliefs, their pasts and their differences in order to escape their ordeal.
This isn't social realism. This is a thrilling, surreal, subversive, humerous and philosophical twist on the classic crime-caper. It's a haunting but ultimately hopeful story about two marginalised outsiders living in Modern Britain. It's a compassionate story from Bradford and the North, a celebration of its multiculturalism, Yorkshire landscape, and a spiritual exploration into universal themes of morality, faith, life and death.
This isn't a crowd-funder. By investing in 'The Ceremony' you are purchasing Equity in the film. When (with your help!) the film makes money, you will recoup on your investment.
Throughout my last few years of research and interviews with those working (and sometimes living) in hand car-washes in and around my home town of Bradford, I've seen that harsh economic poverty and migrant slavery are still very real. This isn't a film about victims, but a film about those complex, inspiring and resilient humans living through hardship thousands of miles from home in this strange but wonderful place we call God's own country.
It's written in collaboration with those with lived experience, without judgement or comment, and through this journey we come to share in the rich inner psychological and spiritual lives of these marginalised outsiders.
In a small way it's about restoring that lost dignity to those 'disposable people' living among us, these invisible neighbours hidden in plain sight.
Jack King (Writer/Director)
Meet The Team
Living and working in Yorkshire with strong working class roots, we want to show that it's possible to succeed in the film industry outside of London. We have 30 years of experience and hard work between us, and are working together for no personal financial gain to make a small, realisable debut film with international ambitions, because we believe in this story, it's characters, and the power of home-grown and authentic, original, authored stories like this to tip the balance in the UK industry, inspire others, engender positive representation and resonate with audiences worldwide.
Jack is a self-taught writer/director from Bradford who started out making music videos for independent and major record labels. Early on he was represented by world-leading agency colonel blimp, and his videos have had racked up repeated Vimeo staff picks and millions of views online. His 5 shorts have played globally at top tier BAFTA/OSCAR qualifying festivals, and been BFI backed. His last micro-budget short 'Prints' played in Competition at the 41st Clermont Ferrand short film festival.
In 2019 Jack was selected for the BFI development lab NETWORK@LFF, and for the Edinburgh Talent Lab in 2021, and is a BFI NETWORK X BAFTA crew member. 'The Ceremony' was selected for the Film London PFM new talent strand, and for the Pustnik Lab in Romania in September 2021, where it recieved development support from international industry experts. His second feature 'Sunburn' is in early development, and was recently selected for Edinburgh's industry development programme Talent lab connects.
Lucy Meer is BAFTA longlisted producer that has worked with some of the best in the British Industry, not least Warp Films (This is England, Four Lions, Everybody's Talking about Jamie), Element Pictures (Normal People, Room, The Favourite), A24 (Moonlight, The VVitch, Midsommer) and the BBC. Her first short film, Mary Anning, was exec produced by Barbara Broccoli of the Bond franchise and has been viewed over 70,000 times online. Her most recent film, Pop stars British legend Stephen Graham and is currently airing on All4.
Most recently, Lucy was the Script Editor and Story Assistant to renowned autuer director Shane Meadows (This is England, The Vitues, Dead Man's Shoes) on his latest drama The Gallows Pole, which shot in late 2021.
Hollie Bryan began her career producing music videos for independent & major record labels. She produced her first short, Geezer in 2013 with Jack, a collaboration which has continued over the years including short film 'Prints' shot on location in Japan. As well as assisting across the slate at Sixteen Films she is also Associate Producer on 'The Old Oak', directed Ken Loach due to be released in 2023. She was recently selected as part of the 2022 cohort of Screen Yorkshire's FLEX. Hollie is currently developing her first feature 'Sunburn' which was selected for EIFF Talent Lab Connects 2022
Hollie produced documentary 'Hanging On', directed by Alfie Barker, which premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest & TIFF in 2021, going on to win multiple awards, was longlisted for a BIFA for best British Short Film and recently shortlisted for a Grierson award.
Robbie is an award-winning cinematographer and hailed by the British Cinematographer Magazine as part of the New Wave of 2021. His work has been BAFTA nominated several times, and he was nominated twice by the British Society of Cinematographers as an emerging cinematographer in both 2019 and 2020.
ANNA KENNEDY has built an exciting and varied resume as a Casting Director, working on Film,TV, Theatre and Commercials. She prides herself in scouring the country and across the globe to cast the perfect person for every role. Anna has an extensive knowledge of talent and a broad network of contacts within the industry.
WHY DO WE NEED HELP?
Even when you have years and years of professional experience and track-record, Indie film-making is hard, and it's even harder when you are from a working class background, live in the North of England, and want to tell ambitious and authentic stories about real people, without the golden ticket of soft-money or support of the UK industry.
But we are going to do it anyway, because we are tough, ambitious and full of Yorkshire grit. We are pouring in all of our own money, resources and years of experience to make this film, but we need the help of investors to make this to a standard which will protect the quality of the film, while also ensuring that it will appeal to international film festivals and sales agents, and increase its chances of making a profit and gaining a theatrical distribution deal.
* All production stills are from our own projects. If you are interested in seeing our work, please get in touch.
This isn't just about getting 'The Ceremony' made. This is about showcasing regional talent, letting the world see the beauty and richness of Yorkshire and seeing its diversity of people in a brand new light. This is also about ensuring the film succeeds and returns your investment so that we can continue to use this model to make films into the future. This is just the beginning of a much bigger plan.
Our financing will go entirely towards the production of this feature film; our location rentals, our crew, and our cast. We'll be shooting principle photography in BRADFORD and the YORKSHIRE DALES, where we can leverage the UK'S highly competitive filming tax incentives and world class crew.
WHAT DO WE NEED?
We're creative, resourceful and have over a decade of experience hustling to push the limits of what is achievable on independent film whilst working with some of the best crew in the UK.
Our budget is small but appropriate so we're not looking for a huge amount. We don't want to make the mistake of over-stretching on a first feature as many do, and we aim to make returns so we can make more films. Please request a meeting or to see the business deck if you'd like to discuss figures in more detail.
Your investment will help bring together a film that showcases the creativity that Yorkshire has to offer, and will be the single most important step in helping us to build a sustainable career making films in the North and telling our own stories in our own way. We'd love to bring you on this journey with us.
We won't see a POUND, until you, THE INVESTOR, first make back 120% of your principal investment.
Our supporters so far...
We don't have much support so far, thats why we are here asking for your help, but the support we have received is huge and means everything to us.
We were awarded early development funding from the BFI NETWORK and FILM HUB NORTH, and more recently some financial support from entertainment charity OKRE, an organisation that is funding the outreach and community work we are doing in order to workshop and cast 'The Ceremony' and bring more lived experience into the process. The project was also selected for prestigious Pustnik Residency in Romania, and recieved mentoring as part of Film London's PFM new talent strand, all which helped get the script in the best shape possible. Most recently, the project is being supported by our friends at NORTHERN MONK, avid champions of Northern artists working and making work in and about the North. We even have a beer doing the rounds.
We would really love to find more supporters to come with us and make something great.
YOUR NAME/ORG HERE?
invitations to cast and crew premiere, film festivals and red carpet events
bespoke Video production for you or your Business
visit the set, meet the cast & see behind the scenes
first refusal on investment in our next feature film
IF YOU INVEST...
Unlike a crowd-funder which works on donations and non-monetary rewards, we are asking for larger contributions from fewer individuals in return for a share of the film and its profits. We are going to do everything in our power to protect our investors, by keeping the number of investors to a limit and the budget as small as we can.
As a gesture of our eternal gratitude and thanks that you are willing to support us, we want to give back in whatever way we can. This means that before your ROI, we would like to offer discussion of additional incentives to show our appreciation.
Some examples might include:
how do i invest?
coffee or pint?
If you are the kind of person looking to invest in independent UK cinema and our film, we would love to meet you to discuss further.
Whether that's to find out more about our project, discuss terms, or simply meet to feel more reassured about your investment, we'd be more than happy to come to you for a coffee, or arrange a meeting over the phone or via ZOOM.
We've put together a business deck.
We have a business deck which includes more detail on the project and our strategy, including our budget, finance and recoupment plan and schedule.
If you would like to see the business deck or discuss the specifics before meeting, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will happily send this over.