University of Sussex Media Release.
. New film about homelessness in Brighton directed by University of Sussex student

15 May 2001
For immediate release

A new film about homelessness in Brighton, directed by University of Sussex student Tom Clay, will be screened at the Duke of York's cinema this Sunday (20 May).

Motion follows the trials and tribulations of Don, a homeless man, as Christmas approaches in Brighton. Tom says about the character of Don, "I wanted an audience to ask the question, 'Why should we empathise with this man? Why should we care?' This is a film that exists to provoke feeling and thought. If you don't find either in Motion then I shall concede defeat."

The film was made on a budget of just £3,000. "This was an exercise in guerrilla film making," says Tom. "But it's not a bad thing to not know what you're doing." Using a compact digital video camera, filming could be done quickly and in often very low light. Sometimes the camera would be concealed completely so that the actors could be filmed in real locations without either the equipment or film crew distracting passers by.

The film's producer Joseph Lang says, "From the outset, Tom and I made the decision to fund and produce Motion ourselves … A combination of loans and private investors provided enough to buy the basic equipment needed." Tom adds, "Low-budget film making is quite a slog, especially in Britain, but also very rewarding."

Actors from the Academy of Creative Training in St James' Street worked unpaid on the film, which also stars Hove-based ex-Neighbours actor Mark Little.

The soundtrack to the film is influenced by the music of modern 20th-century composers such as German electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-), to which Tom was introduced in the course of his studies in music at Sussex.

The world première of Motion took place at the British Independent Film Festival in Berlin last month. The screening at the Duke of York's cinema takes place at 11am on Sunday 20 May, with proceeds going to Brighton Housing Trust and the Big Issue Foundation. There will be a question-and-answer session with the director after the screening.

Notes for editors

For further information, please contact Peter Simmons or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678209, Fax 01273 877456, email or

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