Created by Leoni Amandin, The Pitch 2023

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In a run-down sea-side village Philippa cares for her dying son John. While he has long made peace with his fate and said goodbye to his friends, Philippa, in complete denial, frantically tries to save him. Only her sister Elodie and John’s business partner Charlene join her in support. They unsuccessfully keep encouraging her to make the most of John’s remaining days. Philippa sways between appreciating and despising their flawed attempts to help. Before his death John tells Philippa: “Mum, you soon won’t have a son anymore. But if you accept Charlene, you can have a daughter instead.” John dies, and Elodie hosts the wake. She forgives easily and longs for harmony. Philippa and Charlene can not yet face the friends and family who stayed away. They finally bond over their disappointment and accept John’s proposal. Charlene has to return to London, and Philippa rediscovers life without John. She finds his presence all around. Only now can she begin to forgive and wonder about her own future. She knows society will doubt her potential because of her age and gender. So she enlists Charlene’s help to consider her options. Will she find a worthy and fullfilling new role?

Biblical Connection

I am recontextualising the story of the crucifixion in a modern setting, telling it from the perspective of the women who made a conscious decision to stand by Jesus when everyone else abandoned him. “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, (…) and Mary Magdalene.” (John 19:25). Across all four gospels a group of women gather to mourn, while the apostles have fled. These women were entrusted not only with the care of Jesus during his last moments but also the discovery and promotion of his resurrection. However, to this day the Virgin Mary is idolised solely for her virginity and motherhood. Her idolisation has shaped women’s role in society. This film reminds us of her bravery, strength and wisdom. Jesus proposed to renew her motherhood. “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother.”.” (John 19:26 - 27) While she accepted her new child, I believe Mary was also looking for a new purpose for herself. She dedicated her time to the New Testament church, a vibrant and ambitious community.