Luna Carmoon may have just finished shooting her first feature — BBC Film-backed Hoard — but the writer/director has been living and breathing films since she was eight years old.
“Making films is all I ever wanted to do,” she says. “When I go on a plane and there’s turbulence, the first thing I think about is all the films I’m not going to get to make.”
Her break came when she was accepted onto Creative England’s ShortFLIX scheme in 2019, which required no previous filmmaking experience and was aimed at championing underrepresented talent. “I was constantly looking at schemes, but I didn’t have a degree and I didn’t know anyone. I would not have got into the industry without it,” says Carmoon, whose short films Nosebleed (2018) and Shagbands (2020) both premiered at the BFI London Film Festival.
Then she hit a wall. “I was angry at the industry. I was making work that came from my soul and people wanted to buy my trauma, but then I was being disposed of,” says the director, who grew up in south London and was, up until last year, still working in a garden centre.
It was out of this anger that Carmoon wrote Hoard, during the first Covid lockdown in 2020. “Sometimes rage can be a great machine. [In this case] it bloomed into something beautiful,” says Carmoon of the story about a mother-daughter relationship set in the 1980s and ’90s, which stars Hayley Squires and Joseph Quinn. “This film is me, the ugly parts of me as well as the beautiful parts of me. There may be people who don’t like me after this film, but I don’t want to be liked, I want to make people feel something.”
Carmoon is heading in a different direction with her next project, a book adaptation that she is transposing to the 1930s, and which will also draw influence from her own grandmother’s diaries.
“People would love me to do poverty porn, but I love period films,” says Carmoon, who seeks out inspiration from the British films of the 1960s and ’70s and filmmakers such as Ken Russell and Nicolas Roeg. “You can have working-class characters but that’s not what you’re thinking about, thematically, when you watch those films. There’s vibrancy and mad human activity and magic. That’s what my work is about.”
Contact: Anthony Mestriner, Casarotto Ramsay & Associates