BAFTA nominated for Rite.

Bafta-nominated for his 2010 short Rite, 30-year-old writer-director Michael Pearce writes all his own material, a process he finds “tortuous” but one which a viewing of the film more than vindicates.

It is not just that the story — a man takes his estranged son out for a birthday treat, but detours to the pub in an atmosphere of simmering violence before a football match — is a classically framed short, but with its strong sense of inner-London grounding, Rite is a visual knockout too. Now based in London, where he graduated from the NFTS with a short, Madrugada, Pearce hails from the Channel island of Jersey. And he will return there to shoot what he hopes will be his first feature, Beast, selected for the Torino FilmLab Script & Pitch workshop. Loosely inspired by the true story of the ‘Beast of Jersey’, a serial sex attacker who terrorised the island for a decade, the story follows a housewife who suspects she may be married to him. Beast’s Jersey locale betrays Pearce’s “desire to return to the place I grew up — there are such rich memories and you get something extra from the landscape”. But he adds: “Perhaps the nature of the story means I won’t get funding from the Jersey tourist board…”

Contact: Jack Thomas -