Written, and directed by Nicholas Barton-Wines
Produced by Fergus Cruickshank
Designed by Poppy Camden
Shooting Summer 2019
Scotland, 8pm, Summer. A bench at the beach, overlooking the sea. A man, Andrew, nervously awaits an imminent arrival: the man he has been sleeping with. Upset, he doesn’t know what will happen next when he is joined by an awkward, remorseful, and anxious Lewis who needs to set the pair on a new path before returning to celebrate his marriage to his new bride.
I’m sure you understand I can’t stay long for obvious reasons but –
I’ve missed you.
A short film shot in Summer 2019, Benched takes a snapshot look at the pressures of heteronormativity and the masks we wear. Nature meets nurture in this subtle, tender excavation of following someone else’s path.
Inspired by Jon McNaught’s Kingdom, a graphic novel, in which Jon propels his narratives by “imbuing each tiny moment with a flowing, rhythmical splendour of its own.” The aim of the film is to tell of the rich history between Lewis and Andrew through the subtle and the unsaid. The process is similar to a devised theatre production, with the focus on history and movement to map out the script.
Central to this process has been offering a safe environment to explore the themes for individuals who may not be able to publicly declare their close relation to them. This has involved encouraging creatives who identify with the themes to come forward, providing openness and anonymity, reimagining the normal structures of assembling a team consist of, and supporting and protecting team members to create work they recognise as truthful to their real lives.
The film is due to be released in mid-2020.