Juan: Nottingham Short Film Looking for Funding

Interview: George White
Friday 17 January 2020
reading time: min, words

We had a chat with Ben Keeling, former student of Nottingham College, about his upcoming student film Juan, Nottingham’s growing cinematic community and how you can get involved with his project. 


How would you sum up Juan
It’s a story about family, set in a small town in Spain. The family’s father finds out that his son is gay, and it’s about his journey in coming to accept that. It takes place in a traditional setting, and focuses on the father’s struggle to prioritise his family’s happiness over other people’s image of them. 

What made you want to make this film?
I grew up and spent the first 10 years of my life in a very small town in Spain. Then I moved to Nottingham and met such diverse people and experienced a more modern lifestyle. You see all these different people who are more open about who they are. But there’s still a massive problem in smaller communities in terms of fearing the unknown, and we explore that. 

How have you found the process of filmmaking so far?
It’s a hard process, but rewarding. Finding people interested enough to help the project is difficult - you have to make sure people have faith in what you’re doing. But I’ve been lucky because I made friends at college and the BFI Academy at Broadway, and we’ve ended up working together ever since. 

We’re deep into fundraising at the moment, and our target is £4,000

How important has Nottingham been to you? 
Nottingham provided the stepping stone that launched me into wanting to make films. The BFI Academy introduced me to important movies and made me fall in love with filmmaking. My time in Nottingham got me on to future projects and courses, and helped me to collaborate with new people. There’s a growing sense of community in the city - everyone is always willing to help with advice and promotion for your work.

How can people get involved with the project?
We’re deep into fundraising at the moment, and our target is £4,000. If any company or individual is interested in collaborating and putting their name to something like this then they can add to our fundraiser. It’s also about getting the word out, so people can follow and share what we post to social media. If people help to spread the word, that’s the most important thing!

What’s next for the film?
We start shooting in February, then it will be edited and submitted to film festivals. We’re going to take it to Spain to see how it resonates there. We’ll also submit the film to the Nottingham International Film Festival. Juan has three spearheads from Nottingham, so we’d love to bring it back to the city. 

If you’d like to contribute to the film, you can add to the fundraiser or follow the project on Instagram and Facebook

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