Strawberry Fields headed for LFF.
Writer-director Frances Lea describes Strawberry Fields — the sixth picture from Film London’s ultra low-budget Microwave initiative and the first to be directed by a woman — as “my relaunch”.
There is definitely a sense of impetus with Lea right now, and a determination. She is an experienced director — the small-scale feature Everyone’s Happy premiered at the London Film Festival in 2000 to warm reviews, but with the birth of her twin children, she moved sideways into writing and painting. Now, she is back. Strawberry Fields, a hypnotic exploration of the relationship between two damaged sisters which plays out at a strawberry-picking farm in Kent, stars Anna Madeley, Christine Bottomley and Emun Elliott and is set for a world premiere at this year’s London Film Festival. It betrays some of Lea’s enduring pre-occupations, born of years working in prisons — she was writer-in-residence at HMP Bedford for two years — with an exploration of “complex relationships, dysfunctional worlds and society’s taboos”. There was also the temptation, she admits, to “put some urban fucked-up people into a beautiful English rural setting and see what happens”.
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