Interview with Filmmaker Cara Bowen (Feeding Lewisham)

“Feeding Lewisham” was the winner of BEST FILM at the January 2021 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Ray put out a call for local filmmakers to help make a documentary of the work he and Barbara were doing with We Care during the first lockdown last year. As a freelancer, all of my work was cancelled and I, along with everyone else who helped on this filmed wanted to help our community by using the skills we had and bring further awareness to such crucial work.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took several months of on off work. Since we were all working on this project for free, it also took quite a lot time to find the right people willing to donate their very valuable time and skills to work on the project in their spare time.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!

Ooh, good question. Timely and necessary.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Probably the lack of money (zero) to be really able to fully invest in the project and pay the professionals who worked on it. We relied entirely on their kindness and willingness to give their time, equipment and skills to the project and for a good cause, and I really appreciate it. No one should have to work for free, but it helped to show that we were all in this together, that the whole community were donating their time and skills to help those in need, and it really was an honour to be part of it.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was really pleased they liked it and it resonated so much with them! I really wanted to make sure we showed both sides- of those giving out the food and those receiving it and I’m glad that’s what the audience liked.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Well, Ray started it off by asking for filmmakers to help make a documentary about We Care. But as I’m sure we all know, filmmaking usually takes a lot of time and money to get to a stage of producing a film, so since we didn’t have any money and wanted to react to the immediate situation, so we initially planned to do a very short promo film to raise money for the project but once we got to the edit and coming from a more traditional observational documentary background, we wanted to include the longer exchanges between the contributors, so we made the film longer than initially expected.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I really would love to say something more cool, but I have a two year old who’s obsessed with Toy Story, so it’s Toy Story, which I’ve watched part of every day for the past 10 months! I have to admit I’m not yet entirely bored of it though, so that’s something!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I’m still getting the hang of it, it’s my first time using it. My background is in broadcast television so I’ve never really ventured into film festival submissions, but so far it’s been incredible useful.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Oh, again, this is a very uncool answer. It’s probably between Let It Go from Frozen or You’re Welcome from Moana, my kid loves them both. My favourite song however, is Israel kamakawiwo’ole’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I hope so! I would love to develop FEEDING LEWISHAM into a longer film, but as ever, if it was a longer project we’re going to have to find some funding first. I have some other ideas too but nothing I’d like to do as much as this!


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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