Director: SIMON ELLIS
Soft was Simon Ellis’ 17th short film and was commissioned as part of the BBC’s ‘Cinema Extreme’ programme, which also financed Andrea Arnold’s Wasp. With a budget of £50,000, it was the largest commission he had ever been given and it was also the first time he was to shoot on 35mm.
‘At first you think "Nice one!" and you set about relocating the film to the Bronx to shoot in one continuous take from a burning helicopter. However, you soon realise that shooting on 35mm spends all the money for you and the reality is that you actually have the same house of cards to deal with as on a budget ten times smaller.’
The film was shot in 5 days and was inspired by a real life event from Ellis’ school days, when one of his classmates was beaten up as his school bus driver father looked on.
‘I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of what it means to be a man. Certainly when a young person physically challenges an older person, what can you do? As a kid you expect your father to protect you and when that doesn’t happen that must be devastating’.
Soft was nominated for a BAFTA and has won countless awards including Sundance (the International Jury Prize), Palm Springs, Toronto Worldwide, Brief Encounters (Best British Short), and Edinburgh. Ellis has just released his first feature, Dogging, a Love Story.
Commentary by Simon Ellis, recorded in Ghent, Belgium
Film Courtesy of Network TV Ireland