Cinema: The beginning of the end

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Hope Dickson Leach’s The Levelling is a much anticipated independent British film finally finding its way to Sheffield this week. Despite its story taking place in distant Somerset, it is a film with much that will resonate with audiences across the country.

Following the devastating floods across the region and the sudden death of her brother, Clover has returned to her family’s farm to arrange matters, but soon comes into conflict with her family, her past and her potential future.

Despite this heavy subject matter this film is incredibly human, its story as much about familial relations, guilt and love as it is about farming or hardship.

The farm acts as a symbol of Clover’s family and the problems that have afflicted it: when nature takes its toll, this marks the beginning of the end for the bonds that are in place.

The film boasts a standout performance from Ellie Kendrick – in her first starring role – and familiar face David Troughton features as Clover’s domineering father.

Dickson Leach’s debut feature film demonstrates her skill for storytelling and she is absolutely a name to look out for in the coming years. When she isn’t directing critically acclaimed features she has also, along with some other brilliant women working in film in the UK, founded an organisation called Raising Films.

Raising Films is a fantastic resource, community and campaign focusing on the contribution of and situation for parents and careers working in Film and TV in the UK.

By publishing research, advertising funds and opportunities, highlighting the work being done by some companies and providing a network of people in similar situations Raising Films has already made great progress towards changing the way the industry treats parents and carers.

One of Raising Films’ newest developments is Cinema Circle, which aims to address the needs of parents interested in cinema outings beyond just family visits to see the latest children’s film.

This project, taking the babysitting circle idea, could prove a great way for parents to maintain their cinema-going habits when their children are young.

The Showroom’s Kino Bambino is a brilliant resource for parents with babies under one year of age, with a weekly screening of a new film welcoming parents and their babies to enjoy the cinema experience without worrying about the children making too much noise, and without being limited to children’s films.

Hopefully Sheffield can create a few Cinema Circles too, for when those little ones are a little older.