Created by Alicia Quayson, The Pitch 2024

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The story takes place on the day 9-year-old Ama and her mother Martha have been evicted from their home. With Martha due to meet a lawyer that evening to help get her son to the UK, she hides this fact from everyone including Ama. Despite her sole focus being her swimming competition tomorrow, Ama becomes unsettled as her mother decides to take her to stay with a relative, without any explanation. Ama refuses to go without her swimsuit. Still refusing to tell her the truth about why they can’t go home, Martha takes her to a nearby supermarket to buy a new one, but they arrive just too late. While Martha argues with the security, Ama tries to run home but Martha catches her. Martha starts the car but it won’t move. They’re stuck. Ama watches her mother break down and comforts her. Not fully understanding what’s happening, she accepts that they can’t go home. A friend picks them up and takes them to her shabby council flat. There, they are given a bag of old clothes in which Martha finds an old swimsuit for Ama, turning all her worries back to joy.

Biblical Connection

I was inspired by the interesting small story of Mark 10:13-16- when the disciples turn away the children who came to Jesus. They ’shoo them off’ and it makes Jesus angry. This story has always fascinated me as it demonstrates the attitudes toward children, often overlooked figures in the bible and how Jesus places incredible importance on them in such a short passage. ‘Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very centre of life in the Kingdom’ (The Message Translation). In the film, Ama goes from about to be separated from Martha and ‘shooed away’ to live with someone else, before she becomes seen and valued as ‘the centre’. Jesus challenges the disciples and brings to their attention their own need to have \'the simplicity of a child’ in order to inherit the kingdom of God, before taking the children in his arms and blessing them. This also inspired the symbolic small but meaningful gesture of the found swimsuit, as Martha finally puts herself in Ama’s shoes. As well as the journey of Ama and Martha’s distant non-tactile relationship evolving and ending in an intimate tight hug.