Top accolade for independent Scottish movie ‘Convergence’
‘Convergence’, a low budget movie by award-winning Scotland-based filmmaker Steve Johnson has won ‘Best Feature Film’ at the prestigious British Independent Film Festival.
The psychological thriller about life, death and love, beat more than a 100 other movies to the top prize.
Shot in Scotland, the film, which cost less than £3,500 to make, starred mainly little-known Scottish actors and actresses and garnered huge applause when it was announced winner at the festival awards ceremony in the heart of London.
“This has been amazing for the whole cast, crew and everyone else involved in this film. To win the main award, in the face of such great competition, is both incredible and humbling at the same time. Thanks to the organisers of the British Independent Film Festival and the judges for recognising raw, home-grown talent – both on screen and behind the camera,” said Mr Johnson on winning the award.
Full story and images in Scotland Correspondent magazine
In addition to Best Feature Film ‘Convergence’ was nominated for the top honour in four other categories.
“This is a huge recognition for low-budget filmmaking at the highest level,” said Mr Johnson who described the nominations as a coup for the cast and crew who worked tirelessly for over six weeks of filming and countless hours of composing and editing.
“To have the world premiere of the movie at London’s Cineworld, Leicester Square, was a dream come true,” he added.
The 97-minute film is led by Jeremy Theobald, who had roles in Hollywood director, Christopher Nolan’s debut feature film, ‘Following’, and ‘Batman Begins’, as Martin. He plays opposite Nicolette McKeown, from ’Mass Effect: Isolation’, ‘MetalHedz’ and television series, ‘Feel The Dead’, as Lily, in her first feature film.
The leads are supported by Royal Conservatoire graduate, Alfie Wellcoat, from ‘Dual/Duel’ and ‘Haevn or Hele’; Lee Fanning from ’Under The Skin’ and ‘The Angels’ Share’; Scottish American-based actress Anna Kennedy, who appeared in ’My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’; and Marcus Macleod from ‘The Necromancer’ and ‘Book of Blood’.
The movie tells the story of a successful writer struggling after the death of his wife and child in a car crash. When he meets a grieving mother at a bereavement group his life changes and he starts to question the circumstances of the accident. Who is the mysterious character in the photographs and why can’t he shake the feeling that he’s being played?
The film peels back the layers of emotions everyone feels when tragedy strikes and reveals an uncomfortable truth.
By keeping the crew extremely small, which not only cut costs for the film, but allowed the team freedom to film in numerous places, even when busy, so as to not distract members of the public and draw attention to themselves.
“It was important to me to make Convergence as I feel it breaks with a familiar type of Scottish film that centres around zombies, drugs, gangsters, deprived housing, etc., and concentrates on the emotional connection between two individuals, with strong acting at the heart of the film,” said Mr Johnson, who attributed his experiences of working in the Scottish film industry on various low/no-budget projects as central to his desire to break with clichés and bring a fresh style of film-making to the market.
“The story is universal in origin and could be applied to people across the world – the loss of someone close and the need to move on from that loss.”
‘Convergence’ marks the filmmaker’s second feature film as a director, producer and writer and first feature film as a cinematographer.
His first full-length Scottish film, ‘The Students of Springfield Street’, won ‘Best Feature Film’ at the 2015 Aberdeen Film Festival and ‘Best Cinematography’ and ‘Best Actress’ at the 2016 Thistle International Film Festival.