Below are the Pitches that made it through to the 2015 shortlist.
A journey through darkness which ultimately leads to freedom. The world has suddenly and unexpectedly been plunged into darkness. Two days in, politicians still can't explain what is happening and people are beginning to panic. There are reports of rioting and rolling blackouts are commonplace. People are being urged to stay at home and stay calm. Jan is a lonely, isolated man in his 40's. He came to the UK as a child and stayed. He is now living alone, an outsider in a foreign land. He's plagued by nightmares and drinks to block out the fear and loneliness. When Jan reluctantly gets involved with a young woman who is being pursued, he has to decide whether to open up, put himself in danger and help her escape, or remain detached and alone. As the violent men chasing the young woman circle ever closer, Jan is forced to flee with her through the streets, leading to a violent showdown. There is a struggle and a single gunshot, and at that moment the light returns.
Based on the plague of darkness in Exodus, I want to explore the themes of light and darkness present throughout the bible, and in particular how a time of darkness often seems to be a precursor to freedom. For example in the case of the Israelites' escape from Egypt, but also in Jesus' death and in certain imagery found in Revelation. The story picks up on some of the themes of Exodus, mirroring the journey to freedom through darkness and in the main character, a man who, like Moses, is uncertain and sees himself as an outsider. He is a reluctant hero, but ends up helping the girl escape to freedom and in the process finds peace and healing himself, albeit at a cost. The plague of darkness in Exodus has also been seen as a rebuttal to the Egyptian sun god, Ra, and similarly the darkness in this film is a rebuttal to the politicians and experts who insist that everything is under control, but struggle to comprehend and explain what is happening. In a culture where everything must be explained and controlled, some things are still beyond our grasp.
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