Canopy

Created by Shona Charlton, The Pitch 2020

Description

Kate, a 13 year old British girl, visits her scientist father at his camp in the Amazon rainforest. They have a shared passion for rainforest science and he tests her knowledge of dangerous spiders and plants. One day, she spies upon him arguing with an illegal logging company who are setting fire to vast tracts of tribal lands. To her dismay, her father has been enabling them for a financial incentive. Angrily, she confronts him. The logging company goons threaten to take her hostage, instead her father convinces them to abandon her in the forest. She wakes to find herself alone, far from camp, and must trust the jungle lore her father taught her, in order to survive. Can she find her way back to the nearest town? She has to have faith in her father, that he has given her all the knowledge needed to survive and yet she struggles to forgive him. (the story is an excerpt from a feature script by Greg Dinner, for which this short will be a proof of concept)

Biblical Connection

Genesis 22:1-18 The story of Abraham and Isaac, replaced by father and daughter and the mountain is here an impenetrable forest. Most retellings of the story centre the narrative on Abraham and his inner struggle. I wanted to centre the child, in this case a daughter, and the crisis of faith that takes place within her. How will Kate balance her faith in her father with the trust that was shattered? Unknown to her, her father did know what he was doing and that she would survive, by detailing exactly where she should be left and what she should take with her. Because he knew it would be safer for her to be far from the rapacious and violent illegal loggers. Often our relationship to God is like that of a child with a father and at times of crisis, the sense of abandonment and broken trust can be overpowering. But we have to believe He does everything for a reason. The story of Abraham and Isaac is central to our understanding of faith itself. (I plan to shoot in the Sundarbans rainforest, India, where I have filmed before and have a substantial network of help.)