David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

ZAK RAZVI PRESENTS 'STANLEY'.
15 March 2024

Have you ever thought about the stories behind memorial benches? Who the people were, what they did, and why they meant so much to others? Zak Razvi did, and the result is 'Stanley', the writer and director's first narrative short film.

"Like the start of most ideas, it was just a small thought that came and went," he says. "Except this idea kept coming back to me." The Londoner felt the themes of loss, grief, and memory were ripe for exploration—he just had to write a script for the first time.

It was a leap of faith for Razvi, but then, so was 'Jordanne'—his debut film and winner of the inaugural Homespun Yarns in 2014 (just to make DAVID feel old). "I've had two kids and inherited multiple grey hairs since 'Jordanne'," he says, but he also got the urge to work with actors and make worlds for them to inhabit.


The world of 'Stanley' is quiet and pensive. The title character, played by Colin Carnegie, is a widow who stays with son Joe (Richard Clements), daughter-in-law Sarah (Catherine Rees), and grandson Frank (Alfie Lawless). There's no right or wrong way to grieve, but Stanley's method keeps the family at bay.

He leaves the house every morning at 7.02 to sit on a bench and watch boats go out to sea. What he gets from this daily ritual is between him and his notebook... that is until Joe asks Stanley to look after Frank. Grandson or no grandson, it's 7.02 on the dot, and Razvi knew he had the right actors to make it work.

Stanley (Colin Carnegie) waves to an old friend.  

"As soon as I saw Colin and Alfie, I felt we'd found something special," he says. "Colin is extremely generous and warm, always giving Alfie (who had very little acting experience before this) little tips and hints throughout production. Alfie took everything in his stride and was a joy to work with."

Less of a joy was the weather at Carnalea Golf Club in Bangor, Northern Ireland. "We had it all. The usual stress of weather swings half way through a scene—torrential rain, followed by glorious sunshine, followed by rain again… who needs continuity anyway!? But we got there."

It takes time—always has, always will.  

So what about Stanley, Frank, Joe, and Sarah? Do they 'get there' as a family after so much heartbreak? You'll just have to watch the film on BBC iPlayer to find out! For now, Razvi says: "I think more than anything I just wanted to highlight the importance of support and love. Hopefully it will help to get people talking about a difficult topic."

Stories

PHC JOIN ACADEMY FILMS.

Academy Films have signed PHC, or John Angus Stewart and Max Coles.


TRIGGER'S THE MAN FOR NM PRODUCTIONS.

Photographer and petrolhead Triggerhas signed with NM Productions.


DIRECTOR JON RICHE SIGNS WITH ANOTHER FILM CO

Experienced comedy director Jon Riche has joined the roster at Another Film Co, and making audiences laugh isn't the only string to his bow.


A GOOD DAY FOR HANNAH BON AND RIFF RAFF.

Multilingual, multidisciplinary director Hannah Bon is now part of the Nursery of Evil roster at Riff Riff Films.


THE CORNER SHOP WELCOME AKWASI POKU.

The Corner Shop have signed Akwasi Poku to their global roster.


LALOU & JOAQUIN JOIN CHELSEA PICTURES.

Directors Lalou Dammond and Joaquin Baca-Asay, or Lalou & Joaquin, have joined Chelsea Pictures for representation in the UK and the US.


PETE SCIBERRAS ARRIVES AT STITCH.

Peter Sciberras, revered editor of films such as 'The Power of the Dog' and 'The King', is now on the books at Stitch.


LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN FOR IMAGINE THIS.

The roster at Imagine This, the creative studio launched by Toby Walsham in March, has grown from seventeen to twenty-four.


ALESSANDRO DE LEO SIGNS FOR BIRTH.

Birth have signed an "unstoppable force" in Italian director Alessandro de Leo.


J HUS 'ALIEN GIRL'

Picnic Studio, repped by Partizan, direct an interactive music video for 'Alien Girl' by J Hus.


DOG EAT DOG ADDS ANNE-SOFIE LINDGAARD TO THEIR ROSTER.

London-based Danish writer/director Anne Sofie Lindgaard has been added to the roster at DogEatDog.


SHARIF ABDEL MAWLA JOINS FRIEND.

FRIEND London have completed the signing of Dutch director Sharif Abdel Mawla for UK representation.


HAMLET LAND YOUSEF.

Mononymous director Yousef is now represented by HAMLET in Belgium, France, China, and the Asia–Pacific.


UNTOLD STUDIOS SIGN ELEANOR HANN AND BALAN EVANS.

The music video roster at Untold Studios now boasts Eleanor Hann and Balan Evans.


JOCELYN ANQUETIL JOINS CAVIAR.

Jocelyn Anquetil, director of commercials and music videos, has signed for Caviar in the UK and the Netherlands.


FILM KLAXON: ALT SHIFT LIFE.

Laura Checkoway's 'Alt Shift Life' flits between Nashville, Tennessee, Bangalore, India, and the Bronx in New York City for a story about technology and new starts.


STINI ROEHRS GOES TO PARTIZAN.

Stini Roehrs, or Stini Röhrs for all you umlaut lovers, has joined Partizan's UK roster.


FILM KLAXON: SO LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE STORY.

Marshall Street Editors, and director Sam Huntley are proud to present 'So Let Me Tell You a Little Story'.


JOHNNY FOREIGNER TOAST MATTHIAS LEBEER.

Belgian director Matthias Lebeer has partnered with Johnny Foreigner as he further strengthens his position in the UK market.


OBJECT & ANIMAL WELCOMES 91 RULES

Directing duo Erik Saltzman and Cameron Tidball-Sciullo who go by 91 Rules will now be represented by Object & Animal in all territories (apart from France).


THE BTS THREAD

This thread includes all the BTS films that we come across and will be added to on a regular basis.


IT'S HELEN & KIM FOR DARLING FILMS.

Helen J Raine and Kim Hinrichs, or Helen & Kim for those in a rush, have signed with Darling Films.


MATTHIAS HOENE JOINS SNAPPER

Acclaimed director Matthias Hoene has joined Helen Hadfield's band of merry men and women at Snapper Films.


MERMAN LAND MARK ALBISTON.

Merman top brass have only gone and signed Mark Albiston to their roster.


KODE WELCOME STEFAN HUNT.

Australian director Stefan Hunt has joined Kode for UK representation.


Stories

Address: Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.