‘A small film with a big heart’ – Esther May Campbell’s first feature opens at Watershed

Light Years opens at Watershed with a special preview screening at Encounters Short Film Festival and is the first feature from Bristol-based Esther May Campbell, starring singer-songwriter Beth Orton. A lyrical drama about family relationships wilting in the late summer heat, Light Years is Beth Orton’s big screen acting debut.

Light Years opens at Watershed with a special preview screening at Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival and is the first feature from Bristol-based Esther May Campbell, starring singer-songwriter Beth Orton. A lyrical drama about family relationships wilting in the late summer heat, Light Years is Beth Orton’s big screen acting debut, playing a mother who has become distant from her family.

Self-taught photographer and filmmaker, Esther has directed music videos for the likes of Bass Clef, Nancy Elizabeth and James Blackshaw alongside BBC dramas. Her personal, captivating stories tell of lost souls, tragic lovers, limbo lives and daydreamers, very much like those found in her self-penned short, the BAFTA winning September, which first screened at Watershed as part of Encounters Festival back in 2009.

In Light Years three children and their father appear aimless and lost without their female anchor. All are affected by neuroses and longing, yet it becomes clear that things weren’t always this way and that the children’s mother has recently become physically and mentally unable to live at home. Esther’s film is a poignant and poetic eulogy to a lost parent, and asks what happens when someone is physically present but no longer ‘there’, like stars that are light years away.

Dircetor Esther May Campbell says:

‘I am thrilled to screen Light Years at Watershed. It's a small film with a big heart. Some time ago my short film September played at Encounters and its reception back at the festival really fuelled the life of the film. I’m a fan of Watershed and their programming team, both of their choices and daring.’

With a special preview at Encounters Festival on Sat 24 Sept featuring a Q&A with Esther and producer Samm Haillay, followed by a run – don’t miss your chance to see this magical film for yourself.

Light Years was supported with funding by the BFI and Creative England and a national tour this Autumn has been successfully Crowdfunded.