Cleansed Film Kickstarter Campaign

Writer/director Paul Caddell seeks donations for his forthcoming drama short scored by David Holmes

Cleansed is a short film that begins with a detached and disorientated man discovered on a beach – he’s dressed in a dripping wet dinner suit, shirt and tie. Questions remain unanswered in relation to how and why he arrived there – if he tried to kill himself, was escaping something, or had some kind of psychotic episode.

He’s subsequently admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where care workers are unable to determine his identity due to an inability, or refusal to speak. Whilst remaining incommunicado, his only form of communication comes through music, and his considerable skills as a piano player. Throughout this period, nobody comes forward to claim him as his or her own.

By inhabiting the point of view of the central character in this film, I hope to ask questions in relation to the nature of identity and communication. It remains ambiguous throughout the film as to whether or not the central character is faking his memory loss or not. The stakes are extremely high in terms of what the central character stands to loose, or to gain, perhaps, by re-inventing himself, depending on how one views it.

Whatever the case, his attempts to maintain equilibrium are tested to the full in the world he inhabits, and with regards to the psychiatric patients he encounters – this is balanced with the unlikely closeness or infatuation that develops between the central character and a female nurse, who is forced to speculate, like the viewer, as to who the man may be .

Short films, at best, are poetical and maintain a sense of intrigue – the events surrounding the central character in the film, I feel, provides both. What excited me creatively is that the central character's silence lends the film profound subtext. We are left to wonder what he is thinking. What is the truth?

Importantly, the central character has a simple dilemma with huge consequences: to talk or not to talk. If he talks, he is forced to go back to his prior existence. If he remains mute, he remains in the presence of the patients that are driving him closer to the edge of insanity.

Cleansed will be shooting Jan, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, featuring a truly international cast and including plenty of help from some of Northern Ireland's top filmmaking talent in front of and behind the camera, including composer David Holmes, actor Lalor Roddy and director Lisa Barros D'Sa.

'the bottom line they need is 3,000, but hope to far exceed that to enable them to afford the best crew they can get. And with the interest and activity in the campaign already, they should have no problem on that front.'

We are hoping to raise a modest amount of financing through the Kickstarter website, £3,000 initially, which will ensure that our ambitions regarding the film's post-production are met. But we hope to far exceed that to enable us to afford the best crew we can get. Every donation will help us to get our film made, and there are several rewards available for those kind enough to donate. Visit our Cleansed Kickstarter page for more information.

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