Lymington director's film hits the big screen!
Jo Brand's 'The More You Ignore Me' set to warm hearts with strong message about mental health issues
Written by, and starrring, Jo Brand, 'The More You Ignore Me' was directed by Keith English who lives and works in Lymington. It has already received excellent early reviews - including Chris Evans on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.
A poignant and darkly funny coming-of-age story of dysfunctional family life in 1980’s rural England: Gina (Sheridan Smith) whose efforts to be a loving mother and wife are undermined by her declining mental health and her growing obsession with the local weatherman and Alice (Ella Hunt) her daughter, who struggles to relate to her mum. Based on her critically acclaimed novel of the same name, Jo Brand used the insight she gained during her years as a psychiatric health worker. 'The More You Ignore Me' is set to the songs of The Smiths and also stars Mark Addy, Sally Phillips, Sheila Hancock, Tom Davis and Ricky Tomlinson.
Keith grew up in Blackgang on the Isle of Wight. He bought his first cine camera from his uncle when he was just 8 years old and has, ever since, made little movies.
Later he went to Bournemouth Art College (now the Arts University) to study film and won the college's ‘Best Film of the Year’ when he graduated. He’s had a long career since, continuing to make ‘little films’ in the guise of TV commercials in London and around the world - winning numerous awards and accolades.
In 2006 he moved back to Lymington with his wife and daughter - which was about the time Jo Brand started to write her novel ‘The More You Ignore Me’. Through a mutual friend, Producer of Genesius Pictures, Debbie Gray, Jo and Keith got together around 2014 and developed her screen adaption of her book into the film they finally shot in 2016.
'The More You Ignore Me' is Keith's first full length feature film and although quite low budget it was blessed with attracting great actors - Sheridan Smith, Mark Addy, Ella Hunt, Sally Phillips in the starring roles. Keith is well known for his emotional, dramatic and funny work in the world of commercials - and that proved to be a great grounding for the rollercoaster ride of story this is!
"It could have been the New Forest"
“It was wonderful to cut my teeth on such a meaty, but heartwarming story," said Keith. "It’s exactly the kind of film we make so well in this country; distinctive and witty, but with a big heart and a strong message about how mental health issues affect not just the patient, but the family around them. We shot it just outside Blackpool, but just as well it could have been the New Forest - it shows how a small rural family can deal with these things in a very ‘British’ way. The performances are excellent and the tone is tough but heartwarming. It looks good too - the wonderful photography makes it a film you should see in the cinema!"
Keith has recorded a Pod Cast for Britflicks about making the film (fairly in-depth for film buffs). http://www.britflicks.com/Podcast/24121
See the trailer for "The More You Ignore Me": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYNN0g06k-0
UK Distributor Entertainment Films: https://www.themoreyouignoreme.co.uk
Facebook: The More You Ignore Me