Grandma’s Hands is a 10-15 minute short film that follows retired artist Valerie Jones coming to terms with the challenge of rheumatoid arthritis, whilst also trying to resurrect her painting career on a Spanish painting holiday. Not everything goes to plan… The film is loosely based on a true story, and features themes of loneliness and loss, acceptance and hope. By creating this film, we hope to raise more awareness about the struggles of arthritis, as well as to bring more attention to the elderly. We’re looking for a strong cast that can encapsulate an audience with their role and contribution to the story.
Valerie? ?is a an elderly woman in her early seventies. When she was much younger, Valerie was a prolific painter and printmaker. Art was her passion. She would spend countless hours wandering the countryside with the aim of finding the perfect landscape to paint, or inside her home art studio as she created a print of an intricate pattern. Art became an escape from the stresses of motherhood and married life, allowing Valerie time for herself and independence.
As she aged, however, this love affair with art came to a halt. Valerie's diagnosis with extreme arthritis in her hands caused her fingers to become deformed, and led to constant pain. What was once the simple task of holding a paintbrush became far too painful for Valerie, and she developed something of a mental block against the very idea of painting. The art studio in her garden, filled with colourful canvases, prints, and paints, was locked up and left unvisited and unused.
In her youth, Valerie creativity was reflected by her colourful choice in clothing and her surroundings. In the present day, however, Valerie clothes are far more ordinary. In the first scenes, we see her wearing an assortment of greys and neutral tones, reflecting the similarly dull tones of her house. Valerie almost seems to want to disappear into the washed out wallpaper behind her. The only splashes of colour are in a piece of jewellery she wears, perhaps a oddly shaped bright green necklace, or orange dangling earrings. Similarly, in the dining room in which she sits in the opening room, the only indication of her former, more vibrant and creative life is within a colourful landscape painting hanging behind her on the wall. Despite her present quiet and introverted self, these are hints that Valerie still retains a creative streak. Over the course of the film, as Valerie rediscovers her lost passion and identity, her clothes gradually begin to become brighter and more expressive. By the time she reaches Spain, all hints of dull greys are gone.
About the production:
Grandma's Hands is a university graduation film that aims to start shooting in the first week of April in London. We are a strong crew of young and creative professionals who would adore to work with someone who is also passionate about raising awareness about the struggles with arthritis by encapsulating this with their character. The majority of the team have worked with each other before on short films and projects so they are very experienced with working professionally on set and with actors. As a university student project, we can only cover cast and crew expenses. However, we can discuss the division of rewards if the film wins any competitions or festivals. We would be more than happy to.
There will be 3 different locations within London that require Valerie's character and a location within Spain. We aim to film all London locations with the first week of April (consisting of 4-5 filming days), with the shoot in Spain to follow into the next week. Expenses to spain will be covered.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
Audition / Rehearsal / Production datesAuditions will run between next week and the end of February. Weekly rehearsals will follow until the filming dates in April.
This job is unpaid
Expenses paid - Travel and accommodation expenses covered.
The owner of this listing has agreed to abide by the UK National Minimum Wage Act. Find out more
Valerie, main role
No major necessary physical characteristics required. Please provide your description and headshots in the application.
Female, aged 50 to 70
Applications closed 21 February 2019.