8 Minutes Idle opens on Valentine’s Day with Director’s Q+A

Posted on Tue 4 Feb 2014
Couple in Stokes Croft

A darkly romantic comedy set in Bristol opens at Watershed on Valentine's Day after local filmmakers raised enough cash for nationwide distribution through crowdfunding via Kickstarter.

Based on a novel by Bristol writer Matt Thorne, the film is a black comedy about a man whose life is so awful he moves into the call centre where he works. Bristol is as much of a character as the cast of rising British talent, with plenty of scope for local location spotting.

The fate of 8 Minutes Idle, shot and produced entirely in Bristol, was hanging in the balance before Christmas when its producers announced that the film's distributor, Revolver, had gone bust. But happily thousands of people rallied to their support – including well-known Bristol celebrities – raising more than the £20,000 needed to give the film a cinema release.

Matt Thorne told the Bristol Post in December that the team were preparing themselves for the film's release when it was announced that the distribution company had gone under. After reaching the funding goal, he said he was "bowled over" by the generosity and support from donors. "We all worked so hard on this film and the possibility of it disappearing unseen was devastating. I'm so pleased that it's going to be in cinemas and people get the chance to see the world of 8 Minutes Idle on the big screen," he said.

Mark Simon Hewis, director of 8 Minutes Idle, said:

"It's extremely empowering as a director being part of the entire distribution of your own film and seeing the support and goodwill we've received from so many people is a hugely humbling experience.”

On Fri 14 Feb at 17:40 we will be welcoming director Mark Simon Hewis to Watershed to introduce the screening, this will be followed by a Q&A with members of the cast and crew - including director Mark Simon Hewis, author Matt Thorne, and Director of Photography Sarah Bartles. Come along armed with your questions which he'll be very happy to answer. 

Supporters had a month to contribute to the £20,000 needed to finally release the film. Donors could pledge from £5 to £5,000, the rewards including pre-release downloads and film credits. Among the donors who helped rescue the feature were Bristol comic writer and actor Stephen Merchant and Aardman co-founder Peter Lord, who said:

"I'm delighted to be backing a new British film from an exciting team of young and local filmmakers."

8 Minutes Idle was produced by Sarah Cox, whose company ArthurCox delivered BAFTA-winning 2010 animation Mother Of Many. She said:

"After working so hard for so long on our film the response from the Kickstarter community has given us a much needed boost of optimism and we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of such a diverse and supportive community in Bristol, the UK and internationally. Our hard work has now not been in vain."

The film was created with the help of the iFeatures scheme, supported by Creative England and BBC Films. The scheme – designed to support new and emerging film talent – funded three films from 550 submissions.

If you are looking for an alternative choice for a relaxed Valentine's Day outing then Watershed's the perfect place! You can catch this film and enjoy one of our platters for two from our special menu, tailored for sharing with your beau.

8 Minutes Idle screens at Watershed until Thu 20 Feb.