A story of survival hits the big screen

A CLEVEDON film-maker has made a movie to raise awareness of domestic abuse which is due to be screened at the town’s Curzon Community Cinema on November 20.

Mark Baker, director and script writer from Cool Planet Films, used Clevedon actors to play the parts in his film Survivors: Sophie’s Story and he also shot the movie in his home town.

The 44-year-old, who works as an IT engineer, has made a number of music videos in his spare time, but he wanted to use his skills to help victims of domestic violence.

After hearing the shocking statistic that two women in England and Wales die each week from domestic abuse, he decided to work on a script he had written six years ago about two people who meet and find out they both come from backgrounds of domestic violence.

To make the film as realistic as possible he got in touch with charities which help survivors of domestic abuse.

He said: “The real-life stories just knocked me sideways. I couldn’t believe a human could do such things to another human, especially someone they say they love.

“A lot of people don’t know they are being abused, which is just shocking. If just one person gets out of an abusive relationship after seeing my film I’ve done my job.

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“I also want people who listen to abuse happening next door to do something about it.”

The film focuses on a brother who is abusing his sister and gran and a father who is abusing his son.

The two victims meet, develop a relationship with each other and help each other to recover from their experiences and move on.

Mark used two actors from Clevedon, Rosanne Forrest Gover and Chaz Boulden, for the main parts. The rest of the characters in the film were people he saw in the town who looked the part.

The cast worked on the film for free and all profits are being donated to North Somerset group SEEDS - Survivors Empowering and Educating Domestic Abuse Services - which gives survivors support and a chance to have their voices heard by those planning and providing domestic abuse services.

Amanda Sutherland, project manager for SEEDS, said: “I’m so impressed with Mark’s energy and enthusiasm to help. I’m incredibly impressed with the film and the actors in it are phenomenal.

“The film is about raising awareness and letting people see this could be happening under their noses and that we shouldn’t stand back and ignore it.”

Audiences will be able to spot many familiar locations in the film including Salthouse Fields, Clevedon Pier, the beach, Poet’s Walk and the Royal Oak pub.

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