What WOFF Director had to say

Be Now was an Official Selection at Women Over 50 Film Festival, 2016. Be Now is a moving, thoughtful, sensual film. The morning after a one-night stand is something most of us can relate to. What makes Be Now original and different is that the dawn light is shining on a middle-aged woman rather than a younger one. It makes us ask ourselves are her fears and doubts and joys any different from a younger woman’s? Any different from our own?

Time doesn’t flow in an orderly logical way in Be Now. Beginnings are endings and endings are beginnings. Tender silk is ruined by a casually split drink, and so an affair begins. Material and liquid flow through Be Now in a circle of ruin and care, ruin and care.”

Nuala O’Sullivan

Film Festival Director, Women Over 50 Film Festival

CultCrack Review

Writer-director Graham Atkins-Hughes short film, Be Now, is a tender and quietly moving portrayal of loneliness and confusion. Karn (Saskia Reeves) is a middle-aged woman, living alone and in need of human comfort. On a night out, she meets Simon (Anthony Green), and after bringing him home for the evening. The morning after, however, brings conflicted feelings – a potent mixture of fleeting satisfaction, regret, and isolation.

Reeves is both nuanced and relatable throughout the film’s brief six minutes, bringing pathos and depth to Saskia. Green, too, acquits himself well in a brief role, and the whole affair is shot admirably – the warmth of their evening together juxtaposed against the harsh morning light of the next day. The subtle eroticism of Be Now’s water motif is effective, too, with the splash of a tap on Saskia’s silk blouse reminding her of the spilled drink that brought the two together.

Atkins-Hughes screenplay co-wrote with Kate Bingham, is a little less effective, laboring the point with a voice over that spells out what has been already so effectively told by the visuals. It’s a small gripe, though, in a short that packs in so much tender and recognisable feeling, and which – voiceover aside – allows its emotional ambiguity to speak for itself.

Poetic Drama  | UK


Why Lift-Off Programmed this Film:
It’s rare we find a film of this nature that we feel works in every way. The solitude of the character  mixes so well with the film language. It is a middle class, middle aged, post divorce, coming of age poetic tale that we couldn’t refuse to screen.

Our global audiences responses:
Our audiences connected with the character and loved the photography. One of the comments on the scorecard at London Lift-Off 2015 said “I never thought a lady simply doing the dishes would make me cry.”

BE NOW Won a special mention at London Lift-Off Film Festival 2015 where the films prize is an Official Selection at Amsterdam Lift-Off this October.

Our Review of BE NOW…

Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Graham Atkins-Hughes might have a lot of empathy, or maybe there is a different story here. When we review the work of the filmmakers we screen, we’re always finding ourselves investigating the inspiration behind the purpose of the narrative we’re viewing.

In this instance BE NOW is an exploration of the poetic/romantic/vulnerable trauma of starting again. Getting back into the mode of romance – after an obvious absence. I can’t help it, but I feel that this is possibly a gender replaced semi-autobiographical account from the filmmakers own life. Why do I think this, because the pain feels very real. From the cold setting of the kitchen, the empty space of the protagonists home, through to the apparent warmth of the evening into retrospect: the candle lit excitement…

The filmmaker has been here before – but haven’t all of us?

The vulnerability Atkins-Hughes creates seems 60% director, 20% photography, 20% actor. A weight of the pain feels so well balanced and communicated that one wouldn’t be surprised if the very poem narrated was indeed written during an extremely similar time.

Wether I’m right or wrong, the fact is that the story delivers, I am on-board with her and I feel how she feels when she feels it. So many times our film festival has tended to stay away from these types of poetically narrated memoir-esq music videos, but for all the right reasons we knew that BE NOW was special.

Watch it yourself and give us your review, we’d love to know your thoughts…

As if being selected for London LiftOff wasn’t enough we now have some more excellent news.

“Some awesome news. Your DOP Ewan Mulligan has been nominated for our seasons best cinematography award. As you may already know, every year we have a Lift-Off awards show at Pinewood Studios, it’s a swanky black tie event encompassing the best bits from all of our Lift-Off City screenings from throughout the year. “ James Bradley, co founder of the LiftOff Festival Network

Based on audience feed back from the London screening we have been given a ‘Special Mention’ which is a fantastic boost for our film. Thank you so much everyone who voted for us.

Lift-Off International Film Festival’s Select BE NOW by Graham Atkins-Hughes to be part of their prestigious line up of true independent cinema at this years London Lift-Off 2015!

Local filmmaker Graham was recently awarded an official selection for their film BE NOW which was selected out of 1300+ global entrants, to screen at the prestigious London Lift-Off Film Festival, the season finale of the Lift-Off Calendar held in Soho Central London.

The festivals motto is:

Look beyond the gloss. Put talent before technology.

Something that holds true to BE NOW.

At the event all of the films will be scored by the attending audience, where the winners are then screened at all five proceeding global events, with the ultimate aim to give filmmakers like Graham Atkins-Hughes the best exposure possible as they embark on their continued artistic journeys.

Lift-Off currently has festivals in London, Liverpool, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.

James Bradley Co-Director and Co-Founder of Lift-Off says…

“Getting into any Lift-Off Film Festival is a massive achievement. The world of independent film has grown so much over the years that many of the grass rooted filmmakers and emerging professionals are left without much of a platform any more. We felt that many of these artists who were producing exceptional work were being hugely ignored – and deserved to be seen!”

Be Now is about doubts, doubts that we have all had, once an event has happened and you can’t retrieve it from the past. In Karen’s case, it’s a fling with an almost stranger she has met during a work based conference. She thinks about not following through with her actions a few times during the evenings post events drinks, but there is something pulling her, which she can’t resist.

I wanted to create a feeling of stress and self destructive doubt in the film, she waits in her kitchen the next morning not knowing what to do, or think. The kitchen is lit with cold, hard morning light, to represent the unforgiving nature of the way she deals with her own feelings, she doubts her instinct from the encounter the night before, almost as if she is trying to stop herself from giving in to it, giving in to being loved.

BE NOW has been selected to screen at 16th Kerry Film Festival.

The Kerry Film Festival received a record breaking 877 films for consideration, so the completion for a screening slot at the  the festivals new home at the Killarney Cinema, were hard to come by.

“It is a testament to the quality of your film that we will be screening BE NOW on the 22nd of October at 6pm, within our shorts package ‘IN THE HEART LAND’, while also screening your film at three other venues across the county.

We are so delighted to now be able to screen our entire festival in dedicated cinema, it marks a real milestone for us in the future development of the festival, which we are confident will grow to even greater strengths in the coming years.”
Kerry Film Festival runs from the 21st-25th October 2015


7&8 Productions Wins Award in Best Shorts Film Competition

Graham Atkins-Hughes, of 7&8 Productions, has won a prestigious Award of Merit Special Attention from The Best Shorts Film Competition. The award was given for ‘BE NOW’  a exciting short drama film, which explores the time post an event when one is waiting for a clarity of mind. BE NOW features the exceptional actress Saskia Reeves in the leading role of Karen.

“It’s such an exciting email to open, when your film wins it’s first award. I wanted to explore the time between an event in someones life, where a new path opens up to them, and the feelings around deciding what to do, the self doubt in that process of the mind, which path should one take and if followed what could be the outcome of the decision” Graham Atkins-Hughes Director

The Best Shorts Competition recognises film, television, videography and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry. Information about Best Shorts and a list of recent winners can be found at www.BestShorts.net.

In winning a Best Shorts Award, Graham Atkins-Hughes and 7&8 Productions, joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award including The Weinstein Company for Market Hours, Disney Interactive for Vinlymation: A Love Story and Oscar winning production Mr. Hublot from Laurent Witz from Luxembourg. Rick Prickett, who chairs The Best Shorts Competition, had this to say about the latest winners, “Best Shorts is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent. The Best Shorts Competition helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptional high quality of entries. The goal of Best Shorts is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”

The Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Centre proudly announces the screening of, Be Now, ‘a gripping short film that plays out in a woman’s mind’ is included in the New Jersey film festival this coming Autumn.

After fighting off stiff competition ‘Be Now’ has been selected to be screened in the ‘New Jersey Film Festival’ this coming Autumn. The film will be competing against the other 25 films which where chosen from hundreds of films, shorts and feature productions submitted to the 34th Bi-Annual New Jersey Film Festival Fall 2015, where there will be a showcase of the best in independent film, featuring premiere screenings and special guest appearances by film directors, screenwriters, cast and crew.

‘Hearing that ones work is to be getting a big screen debut is a very exciting thing indeed, I’m really grateful to be included in the competition, this coming fall, I also hope to be able to attend the screening on the 25th September’ Graham Atkins-Hughes, director and Co Screen writer.

Founded in 1982, the Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC –  the only New Jersey media arts centre programming year-round, offering over 100 annual film screenings and events: drawing thousands of viewers from throughout New Jersey by providing an alternative media culture, it is dedicated to the noncommercial exhibition of independent, classic, international, and experimental films and videos. Not only do our audiences have the opportunity to view many independently produced films, but also the added benefit of meeting with the filmmakers, actors, screenwriters and other members of production crew.