Runtime: 105 minutes
Director/ Writer: Marilyn Edmond
Starring: Kevin Guthrie, Siobhan Reilly, Stephen McCole, Sarah Vickers, Jennifer Black, Dolina MacLennan, Cameron Fulton, Simon Weir, Neil Leiper
Synopsis: In a small Scottish town, a young man Brian struggles to overcome his depression and feelings of loss. Outwardly, he keeps calm, goes to work and carries on with his life, while never sharing his feelings, until care-home owner Jeff becomes a source of support.
Connect is the assured and deeply affecting directorial debut of Marilyn Edmond, which follows the story of Brian (Kevin Guthrie), a young man battling with mental health demons following the loss of someone close. Outwardly, he keeps calm, goes to work and carries on a daily existence where he and no-one else talks about his problems.
Brian never feels that it is possible to share his feelings, until care-home owner Jeff (Stephen McCole) becomes a source of support. A romance with single mother Sam (Siobhan Reilly) also holds out the prospect of a reason to choose life.
Connect has an outstanding ensemble cast including lead actor Kevin Guthrie [Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018); Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016); Dunkirk (2017); Whisky Galore (2016); Sunset Song (2015); Barney Thomson (2015); Sunshine on Leith (2013)] who delivers a performance which is a tour de force; and Siobhan Reilly [Pramface (TV Series 2013); The Angels’ Share (2012);The Clan (2009); Book of Blood (2009);The Bill (TV Series 2008); Starting Over (TV Movie 2007)] who plays the perfect foil to Kevin and sparks a touching on-screen chemistry; Stephen McCole [Beats (2018), Malevolent (2018), Outlaw King (2018), River City (TV Series 2014),The Wee Man (2013), Orphans (1998), Rushmore (1998)] who is Jeff, the owner of a care-home who befriends Brian.
The exuberant Cameron Fulton [Matriarch (2018), Neds (2010)] is Gavin, Brian’s cheerful work-mate who tries to inject him with a dose of Christmas spirit – and at the same time helping the film achieve a balance between light and dark. Conor McCarron [Balance, Not Symmetry (2019), Murder (TV Mini-series 2016), For Those in Peril (2013), Neds (2010)] also stands out, with a haunting performance as the mysterious and melancholic Eric.
Sam’s troublesome ex Simon is played by Neil Leiper, who already brought his trademark menace to Beats earlier this year.
Connect is an opportunity to celebrate the talent of women in the film industry today.
Writer, director and producer Marilyn Edmond shot this quality, crowd-funded, full-length feature in only 15 days – a formidable achievement.
It is a first feature for cinematographer Laura Dinnett, whose striking camerawork showcases the beautiful seaside town of North Berwick and the surrounding scenery of the south shore of the Firth of Forth.
An atmospheric music score is provided by Benjamin McMillan
Moments of optimism clash with dark despair in this ambitious, powerful, sensitive exploration of mental health, as Brian attempts to improve his lonely, anxious life and reconnect with those around him.
Suicide among young men is a major issue in the UK today, with reports of 84 men a week taking their own life in the UK and suicide being stated as the leading cause of death for men under 45.
When Connect premiered at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, screenings sold out in three days.
It has also been featured as a model ‘micro-budget’ production at the ‘Beyond Year Zero’ screenings at Glasgow CCA, with Q & A sessions with Director Marilyn Edmond and a ‘Females in Cinematography’ discussion with Laura Dinnett. It also had a screening at the Scottish Parliament in September as part of the male mental health awareness campaign.
Details of future screenings can be found at the website angelfaceproductions.co.uk
If you have thoughts about harming yourself, or if you are worried about someone you know, there are many internet resources that offer information and assistance:
Images courtesy of : ANGEL FACE PRODUCTIONS