SIGHTSEERS Star Alice Lowe Begins Production On First Feature PREVENGE

Editor, Canada; Montréal, Canada (@bonnequin)
SIGHTSEERS Star Alice Lowe Begins Production On First Feature PREVENGE
Most genre film fans know British actress Alice Lowe from her amazing star turn in Ben Wheatley's Sightseers (which she also co-wrote), and also from parts in films such as Hot Fuzz and Paddington. After a successful festival run of her short film Solitudo last year, Lowe is back behind the camera for her first feature, Prevenge. Shooting begins this week in Wales, with Jen Handorf, one of the UK's top genre film producers, at her side.

The title of the film is both a reference to the story, about a woman on a killing spree for reasons slowly revealed, and the state of the character. That character, as portrayed by Lowe herself, is several months pregnant. In an article on Screen Daily, Lowe describes the film as a "post-feminist-revenge film", with a classic narrative structure, but it will utilize some improvisation on set.

The difficulties that women face in the film industry, particularly if they decide to have children, have become more visible in recent months. Lowe has made what might be considered a bold move, but also a smart one, honing her skills both in front of and behind the camera to her situation. While at first she thought making a film would be too difficult while pregnant, she turned what seemed like a disadvantage into an advantage, proving that with her talent, and support of producers like Handorf, Jamie Adams (who directed Lowe in Black Mountain Poets), and Vaughan Sivell of Western Edge Pictures, making a film while pregnant is possible.

Given Lowe's past work and her innate ability to perform dark comedy, I can imagine she has an exciting twist to put on the image of the pregnant woman. Many can see pregnancy as a state of beauty and joy, but the reality can be very different. Pregnant women are not often seen onscreen, and usually their state is represented as bordering on euphoric (one of the few exceptions being We Need to Talk About Kevin). Lowe states, "Pregnancy could be a very alien, existential experience and we don't show it on screen in those terms. [I want] to defy people's expectations of what that character was and could be, and get some humour out of it more from the female perspective."

This is probably one of the few cases when a production will stick to its schedule, and editing will continue after Lowe has her child, because, why not? Family life and childcare for those working in the film industry is not exclusively a woman's issue, and this industry, like so many others, should be able to adjust to allow all parents to make time for both work and family without huge sacrifice.

Not word on a release yet, but hopefully in the not too distant future, and I hope Lowe brings her child on the film's festival tour.
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Alice LowePrevengeSightseersEileen Davies

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