Stutterer, a heartfelt British drama produced by North Yorkshire filmmaker Serena Armitage, has been nominated for an Oscar.
Stutterer is in line for Hollywood glory this month, having been shortlisted in the Academy’s Short Film Live Action category.
This powerful drama, which has already won a number of prestigious awards, has been created by Bear Golly Films, comprising writer/director Benjamin Cleary, producer Shan Christopher Ogilvie and producer Serena Armitage, who comes from Nun Monkton, near York.
The film tells the story of the struggles a young man with a cruel speech impediment, but an eloquent inner voice. After falling in love on-line, he has to face his greatest fear – meeting and speaking to his new-found love in person. It has been described as “a roller-coaster ride of joy, doubt and romance in the digital age.”
The three filmmakers have already left for Los Angeles in order to prepare for the glittering awards night on February 28. Their trip has been sponsored by the Easingwold-based York Handmade Brick Company, the leading specialist brick manufacturer in the north of England.
Serena Armitage commented: “We are absolutely astonished and overwhelmed by the success of Stutterer. The last six months have been absolutely extraordinary.
“I can't believe this little project we were sitting around a dinner table talking about, maybe throwing a few grand into, is now going to Hollywood. It has been an absolutely insane journey.“We were just delighted to get into the Aesethica Short Film Festival in York in November. Thanks to their support we won a Critic's Circle Award last month, and now this month we will be at the Oscars - it’s very surreal and very humbling.“We didn't set out to make an award-winning film, just hopefully something that might get seen by a few people, but the response has been completely bonkers and I'm just thrilled that we've made something that resonates with its audience.“It was a film we self-funded out of our own pockets so the assistance received from York Handmade Brick is going to make a big impact to our trip to LA and our capability to promote the film,” she explained.
Mark Laksevics of York Handmade said: “We are absolutely delighted to sponsor such a wonderful Yorkshire success story. In our different ways, both York Handmade and Serena, Benjamin and Shan of Bear Golly Films, take great pride in the creative process. We both strive to create well-crafted products of the highest quality.
“Yorkshire has an illustrious history when it comes to film-making and Stutterer follows in this fine tradition. It won’t be cheap to promote the film for a month in Los Angeles, so we felt it appropriate to support Bear Golly Films and to fly the flag for Yorkshire in the heart of the global film industry.
“In November, we won a major award at the Brick Awards, the industry’s Oscars, so it would be tremendous if Stutterer completed a very memorable double in Hollywood. We have our fingers firmly crossed,” he added.
In Stutterer Matthew Needham (Sherlock) stars as the eponymous hero, alongside Chloe Pirrie (The Game) and Eric Richard (The Bill). Already the film has been selected for almost 30 prestigious film festivals and took home the Best Foreign Film prize from the Oscar qualifying Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, the Special Jury Award at Savannah Film Festival, the Best International Short Film Prize at Kerry Film Festival, the Best Drama Award at Aesthetica Short Film Festival and many more.
Serena Armitage has worked for ITV for 10 years, producing and directing some of the UK’s most popular television shows such as Come Dine with Me, Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and the BAFTA nominated TV series Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs.