Working with Jim Broadbent and Sally Hawkins was “like being lent a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari”
PUBLISHED: 10:59 08 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:15 08 May 2014
The producers of a poignant short film, The Phone Call, starring big name actors Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent, are thrilled to have won an award at the prestigious New York film festival Tribeca.
For director Mat Kirkby, and co-producer James Lucas, it was a dream come true to attract the globally-renowned actors to appear in their stripped-back emotional drama, The Phone Call.
Mr Kirkby, 40, who lives in Holloway, said: “Jim is an Oscar winning legend and Sally had literally been filming with Woody Allen and Cate Blanchett a couple of weeks previously, so as you can imagine I was pinching myself rather a lot on set.
“Watching them both at work was a genuine honour, it was a bit like being lent a Rolls Royce and a Ferrari for the weekend.”
The film-making pair who met in their day jobs at Ridley Scott Associate Films wrote the script together after realising both their mums volunteer at crisis call centres.
It tells the story of a call centre worker, played by Hawkins, who takes a phone call from Stanley, played by Broadbent.
“Once we realised we both had this connection the writing process happened very quickly, we both had an understanding of that world so it was a labour of love,” said Mr Lucas, 37, who lives in Lavendar Grove, London Fields.
“These people are like saints who voluntarily help people in their own time, it’s happening right now, it happens every hour of the day - these are people who should be lifted in the highest esteem, they are unsung heroes, angels in a way, the fact they would do such a thing and be so caring.
“It takes a special kind of person to do it for sure.”
Despite having access to Jim Broadbent - who has won awards for his roles in Bridget Jones’ Diary and Moulin Rouge - the pair made the decision to only use his voice.
“To get such a big name actor on board and not actually show his face is audacious, certainly most people if they had access to that kind of cast would want to show his face as much as possible,” said Mr Lucas.
“It’s left to the viewer to envisage who Stanley is and what he looks like, and I think that’s why people relate to the film so much, leaving it to interpretation makes it more immersive.”
The film won the best narrative short film category at the film festival, founded by Mean Streets actor Robert De Niro 12 years ago, and is due to screen at three more this month – in the US, Poland and Germany.
“Typically you do short films as a calling card to demonstrate your abilities and get backing for bigger films, without a shadow of a doubt it provides a stepping stone into features,” said Mr Lucas.
“We all have our own reasons, for me it’s a story I wanted to tell, it’s powerful and emotional.
“Certainly our cachet has risen since we won the award, Mat’s going to make a feature, I’m writing away like Jack Kerouac on benzedrene, we are busy.”