LISLE TURNER, DIRECTOR

Director's statement

Here And Now is a romance. Boy meets girl - they fall in love. The context for this timeless story stems from themes close to my own heart. Recently I became a parent and my daughter's arrival prompted reflection on the untimely death of my own father. This emotional impetus gave rise to a story about a boy who must face the loss of his father and a girl who forgives her parents their failings.

Underpinning the personal and researched content is a narrative subtext. Sixteen years ago, shortly after the death of my own father, an actor friend recommended I sit a meditation course as a way of processing my grief. This led to an ongoing study of Buddhist meditation and philosophy. The script draws heavily upon this learning. Say's name – Sidney Arthur Young – can be contracted to Sid Arthur Young or young Siddartha. He is a young man trying to understand himself and his life.

In terms of action and character, Grace and Tony bear a passing resemblance to Yasodhara and Devadatta, also historical figures in the Buddha's life. Grace and Say's revelations occur in eight primary locations, mirroring the eightfold noble path of the Buddha's discourses. Most importantly the film reflects the concept of impermanence, a fundamental principle of the Buddha's teaching. Everything changes.

Set at the spectacular turn of the season, the natural world offers a clear metaphor for the impermanence of our lives. As youth gives way to adulthood, summer becomes autumn. The epic landscape of Herefordshire, this lesser known part of England (almost a character in its own right) constantly reinforces this simple truth.

Previously I lived in London for many years. I now live deep in rural Herefordshire. The lifestyle differences between urban and rural communities are immense. Herefordshire sits in the borderlands between England and Wales, the perfect location for an untold British story of cultural crossover: city meets country. The result, I hope, is original, vital and authentic.

Remarkable cinematography is a linchpin of this film's success. We shot the British countryside with the reverence the Americans shoot Monument Valley or the Italian's shoot Tuscany - each shot a landscape painting the characters inhabit. I very much hope that the audience will feel the warmth of the dying days of summer. I always think that when in love, everything looks beautiful and I wanted Here And Now to adhere to this.

Romances often rely heavily on big orchestral arrangements. Instead, I opted for an ambient electronica score: subtle, emotive and ambiguous. Similarly, sound design creates the audio dynamics of the unique locations. I want the audience to feel like they are inside a cave or a cornfield, heightening their emotional engagement.

At a time of widespread recession, I wanted Here And Now to be an optimistic story about the simple joys of love and life. It shows England, not as a place of urban decay but as a green land of fertile promise. It shows British teenagers in a rare human light and if there's hope for the young there's hope for us all.

Biography

Lisle used to run independent cinemas. As creative director of what was then the UK's largest independent cinema chain REG he gained a solid understanding of cinema distribution and exhibition, festivals and funding. He then sold his share in the business, got married and took a twelve-month honeymoon.

In 2004 he moved to a garret in Paris and started writing and directing shorts and plays. On his return to London he worked for Amnesty International. This entailed making 50 completed dramas and documentaries of varying length for which he received a BAFTA nomination in 2006. It also meant collaborations with the likes of Sean Bobbitt, Nick Broomfield, Brian Cox, John Hurt, Jeremy Irons, Eddie Izzard, Ken Loach, Mira Sorvino and Patrick Stewart plus a variety of Oscar winning production partners.

In 2009 Channel 4 commissioned his short drama Canvas, produced by BAFTA winning company Revolution Films. Revolution's Andrew Eaton then Executive Produced Lisle's first feature Here And Now. Lisle's work has been recognized by awards in features, animation, theatre and television and has played in festivals all over the world.

In tandem with his feature work at Wrapt Films, Lisle makes commercial work through sister company Wrapt Media.

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