How did the idea for the film come about? Who inspired this strong woman character?
I wanted to tell the story of a young woman who lives for her craft, and the result of her creativity being snatched away. I guess Hilda is an amalgamation of many people. On hindsight, I see a lot of those closest to me in her character, alongside the people I met during the writing process who shared their stories with me.
How did you find Megan Purvis? Was it easy to cast Hilda’s role? And how did you direct an actor into such a complex character?
We found Hilda towards the final round of auditions. It was extremely difficult casting her role, we spent about 6 months going around different cities in the UK scouting for the right Hilda. Megan Purvis rocked up at a Tortilla restaurant for an audition in the final month. She blew my mind, and was the only person who I felt really understood the essence of the character, who I could see transitioning from a young school-kid into a manifestation of the hell around her.
How difficult it is to be a first time director in the current industry? What are the challenges you had to overcome in order to make the film?
How does it feel to be longlisted for the BIFA 2019 Raindance Discovery Award?
What is your next project?
Hilda is part of a non-linear trilogy, all of which are character-driven stories of individuals growing up in suffocating climates. I can’t give too much away just yet, but it’s a film I’ve had in mind for quite some time and feel ready to take on next. I’ll be moving to the Middle East for a bit in January to start the development process.
Tomos Roberts, producer on Hilda, is also about to embark on his first feature film – a chilling, dark comedy set in the heart of London. It’s one to look out for, and I intend to be working with Tom next year on bringing the story to life.