In director Michael Mante’s 35mm debut narrative short, entitled Sandpaper, Hansen (Ola Orebiyi), a troubled young man struggling with unspoken personal turmoil stumbles across a creative community group and becomes acquainted with its leader, Sam (Michael Akinsulire). But will a brotherly conversation between the two encourage the reticent Hansen to accept a much needed helping hand?

The BFI Network-funded film won Best UK Short at the 2020 Bolton Film Festival. It is also in competition at the 2020 Raindance Film Festival and will screen at other festivals around the world.

“My film is about the connection between the characters themselves and also the connection of their experiences and emotions directly to the audience,” says Mante, an emerging UK filmmaker who celebrated his 22nd birthday a few days after wrapping on production in June 2019.

“Making my first short, those connections and relationships were very important to me. I knew that celluloid film would automatically give an emotive layer to the storytelling – a suspension of disbelief and sense of presence – that I could not readily get with digital.”

Filming on 35mm took place over the course of three days, inside St. Barnabas Church in Dalston, East London, which features as a community furniture reclamation workshop, with additional exterior/interior locations around the London’s King’s Cross area. DP Matthew Emvin Taylor was the cinematographer and camera operator on the production.

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