British executive film producer Kirsty Bell, who founded Goldfinch Entertainment in 2016, has finally made her directorial debut with the feature length film A Bird Flew In, which holds its Spanish premiere at the Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival at Cine Ciutat in Palma tonight.
Kirsty, who last came to Mallorca some 32 years ago with her 18-month old son, has spent the past few days enjoying the festival and rediscovering Mallorca. She said that she has been seriously impressed by the festival and the beauty of the island - she regrets not having returned until now but will definitely be back on the island in the near future, maybe to even direct a film in Mallorca.
In the meantime, the festival is tonight hosting the Spanish premiere of her first feature film as a director.
It has already received rave reviews. It has been officially selected for the Raindance Film Festival and nominated for Best UK Feature. It will have its world premiere at the festival on November 5th at Curzon Soho.
Shot in black and white in a cinema verité style, the film tells the story of when lockdown is imposed, and the cast and crew of a film are taken from the set and sent home - alone. Actors without an audience. Directors without a script. Couples fall apart while others come together. A feature film composed of six interlinked narratives, A Bird Flew In explores what happens when we are freed from external distractions and forced to find the meaning in our lives and loves.
“Firstly, it is not a film about the pandemic. It is a film about how individual people reacted during the first lockdown. It’s about how people mentally and physically coped with being locked away inside four walls.
“During the lockdown, it no longer mattered who we were or what we did, whether we were millionaires or the regular Joe on the street, we were all forced into being shut away, cut off from friends and family and having to cope with a totally alien situation.
“For example, in my case I was home alone with a new puppy on the hill of a small village near Newcastle. My husband got caught in Australia. I did not see him for three months and by that time we were well into making the film, which is the end-product of a project I began during the first phase of lockdown, although I had no intention of it becoming a film or directing it.
“For the first time since my son was born I began drawing again. I love birds, but I also began sketching out what became the story board for the film by inventing characters and imagining how they would be coping during the lockdown. What would they be doing? Yes, many of the characters are based on friends of mine and I have warned them that they might click and see something of themselves in the film once it’s released. I think all of the audiences will, but the film discovers what happens in isolation and emotions are enforced in a pressure cooker environment. I wasn’t looking to explore the statistics or the pandemic but rather focus on the personal, the people and how their relationships were impacted.
“It’s called A Bird Flew In because I guess we were all like birds which suddenly fly into a house and don’t know what to do, how to get out. Do we fight or fly?”
“Much or nearly all of the work with my excellent producer Ben Charles was conducted by social media or over the phone. We managed to assemble an excellent cast: Derek Jacobi, Jeff Fahey, Sadie Frost, Julie Dray, Sophie Kennedy, Morgana Robinson and myself, I star as well.
“We have been credited by the UK media as being the first feature length new drama production to have been produced post-pandemic, and I am extremely pleased and proud of the end result. It was a new and crazy experience. I am more of a people person than Zoom, but I guess needs must and the technology is there to help us overcome the unknown. With the massive support and help of the likes of Ben, I think we’ve all managed to produce something very unique and very special."
Sadie Frost is no stranger to Mallorca. She first came here in 1999 to film Presence of Mind with Lauren Bacall and Harvey Keitel. “We spent two months living on the island and I fell in love with the place and have been coming back and forth regularly. I have so many friends who either live or have holidays homes on the island, so it’s great to be back with this wonderful film.
"Being back has also given me the chance to go house hunting, I’m definitely going to buy a second home here,” said Sadie, who has also just also made her feature film directorial debut - Quant, about the life of the Sixties fashion icon Mary Quant. This has just hit the screens of over 200 cinemas across the UK to five-star reviews from nearly all of the critics.
Interestingly, Sadie neither likes watching work she has starred in nor horror films. This is strange, considering that one of her many roles to date was in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
For tickets go to: https://www.evolutionfilmfestival.com