Genre: Magic-realist Teen drama.
Synopsis: When vulnerable 15 year old Molly begins to ritually bathe thousands of local children in the river (almost like a baptism), it angers a teenage gang who go to bully her but Owen can't admit he really fancies her so must choose to stick with his mates in the gang or protect the girl he loves.
Style: Social realist setting but evolved to include more poetry, magic and spirituality.
What's it really about?
The film is about encouraging teenagers and children to feel good about themselves and demonstrating the importance of boosting their self-esteem by showing how this is attacked by peer pressure and neglect.
Which Writers and Directors have influenced you?
Drawing from Terence Davies ('Distant Voices, Still Lives'), Andrea Arnold ('Fish Tank'), Lynne Ramsey ('Ratcatcher'), Joe Wright ('Atonement'), Ken Loach ('Kes'), Werner Herzog ('Aguirre').
Where did the idea come from?Well...
There's the area where Andy grew up, the former coalfields of North East England.
There are teenagers that Andy works with and supports.
Then the situation has been borrowed from the rituals of Hindus in the Ganges and Judeo-Christian baptisms including Jesus in the Jordan and older pagan beliefs that rivers are sacred.
This event is not about organised religion but about bringing the young people together to play and co-operate, to remove peer pressure.