Gold + Cleo Samoles-Little interview

It’s been a while, but we’re back with a new interview and short film for the blog. Today we’re featuring the fantastic Gold, a short drama written and directed by Cleo Samoles-Little, which was funded through indigogo. Gold explores misplaced affection, as a lonely young girl spends her free time caring for her pet goldfish, until tragedy strikes. Watch the film here, and read an interview with Cleo Samoles-Little about this touching short film.

Writer/Director: Cleo Samoles-Little
Producer: Janina Samoles
Cast: Lucy: Ellie Bindman, Jan: Roz Brierley, Darren: Stephen Carl, Terry: Oscar Thomas Wilson

What inspired this?

This is the first short I have written/directed, and will be the second I have directed. My first independent film – I love a gritty, nasty real tone and delivery. Having grown up in North London and admittedly at times getting into precarious situations. I have now tried to channel the times I have absorbed through my teenage years, the bad and the good, and show them through my filmmaking.

For me, this film conjures up thoughts around memory and experience and I love to play with that concept.

I like to take one of my own experiences, develop and create a fictionalised narrative and characters to tell that story. So, for example the climactic scene in Gold is one I have taken and tweaked from my past. Not to say that I play any role in the film, but that is where my initial ideas are born and grow from.

What were the challenges in making the film?

As this was my first film since graduating from the Northern film School, I had to fund it myself… not cheap! I managed to raise almost 3000 pounds through Indiegogo, a crowd funding platform by plastering a cringeworthy video of me pleading for donations on Facebook. It had to be done! We had a nice reaction and lots of positive support but didn’t make the full 3000 mark. Every penny counts though and we were very grateful for our friends generosity.

I then caught a lucky break when talking to one of my former teachers who liked the script and then allowed me to enter for the Fenton Arts Trust fund, after which I was awarded a cheque for 500 pounds towards our budget. After that everything snowballed in a really lovely way, I had a great team and a fantastic time making the film.

What’s Next?

I’ve just written my next short film, due to be shot in 2016. It’s called Knock Down Ginger and i’m very excited about it. Just looking into possible funding bodies at the moment and doing a couple of re-drafts of the script but the pre-production will start for that shortly which makes me very happy.

Tell us a bit about you

I am a female filmmaker, raised in north London. Nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ in the director category at the Rushes Soho Shorts 2012 for short film Jane’s Life – my specialism lies in directing, producing and screenwriting. My first independent short, Gold, was screened at both the Underwire 2014 and London Short Film Festival 2015. Currently developing new material for 2016, including sitcom pilot N.R.G based on a disastrous spell of work one summer doing door-to-door sales and new short Knock Down Ginger.

I love to collaborate with my mother – Janina Samoles who Produced Gold and also helps with script development, I fell we are a strong team and it’s fantastic to work alongside some who you trust completely. This will be the same with Knock Down Ginger and probably many of my films.

Find out more about Cleo Samoles on her website.

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