Created by Jack Norris, The Pitch 2023

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Dennis is a 40-year-old man who lives alone and struggles without a job during the cost-of-living crisis. With his energy company threatening to cut him off and bailiffs pinning eviction notices to his door, the industrious and passionate Dennis is desperate to wean himself off the reliance of his community. He is thrilled when he eventually finds employment, but is aghast to learn that the job is as a bailiff on his own estate and that he must evict the very people who have supported him. Wrestling with his conscience, Dennis keeps his job a secret. But his predicament becomes compounded when he has to evict Katie, the single mother he has been courting. Despite Dennis’ evasiveness on the day of Katie’s eviction, she spots and furiously confronts him in front of his already-frustrated boss. A heated argument ensues and Dennis is given an ultimatum: his relationship or his livelihood. Dennis eventually offers to pay Katie\'s debt at the cost of his job. But with irreparable damage done to both his relationship and his own welfare, the film ends with Dennis back where he started; searching for jobs and with the Bailiffs pinning eviction notices to his door.

Biblical Connection

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” This section of Mark’s Gospel (8:34 - 8:38) speaks about the metaphorical cross that one must bear in order to be a disciple of Christ. I was particularly struck by 8:36 and how - in today’s socio-economic climate - most people do not want the whole world, they simply want to survive. So, thinking about the crosses we must bear in order to save our souls, I developed the idea of a man caught in a predicament of morality and necessity that was relevant to modern audiences. In order to survive, the character of Dennis must sacrifice his soul. Conversely, if he wants to save his soul, he must sacrifice his ability to survive. It is a lose-lose situation that touches upon the real-world problems facing many people in the UK and across the world.