Interview with Lewis Carter, Director of The Graduation

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Interview conducted by Leeds Beckett University Business School journalism student, Oscar Bellerby. The Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett is the official education partner of the 2021 Harrogate Film Festival.

Lewis Carter is no stranger to the Harrogate Film Festival, he won an award for documentary filmmaking three years ago. Then in 2019 Lewis pitched himself to direct a short film called ‘The Graduation’ and had a vision for how he wanted it to come together.

The film is based on an over-looked middle child called Abi and her family as they travel to her graduation in the Welsh countryside. When the family car breaks down the group continue the journey on foot and are forced to work on their relationships to get back to civilisation. Lewis says that he was immediately drawn to the film and its script because the family dynamic was something we could all relate to.

“The Graduation is a unique film because it is all outdoors and there are no sets or interiors. It was almost like it was made for me, as a director as I love that type of filming and the challenges that come with it.”

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Lewis on shoot

“One of the main protagonists was written in such a way that she was repeatedly overlooked. This was despite the fact she was the one graduating and should have been the centre of the attention for the day. I wanted to echo this in the other characters as well and make sure it was clear that they were also going through a similar journey.”

Not only do the family have the challenge of finding their way through the welsh countryside, they also had to resolve the issues they had in their relationships. Lewis insists that this is something that brings the 15-minute film together.

“Not only were they reorientating themselves in the wilderness, but they had to reorientate their relationships and how they worked together, something I think we can all relate to.”

Despite the film being published back in 2019, it offers a great storyline which audience members will find relatable. The Graduation also provides viewers who are unfamiliar with short films the chance to understand the genre in more detail with a plot that is both simplistic and engaging.

Oscar Bellerby

Oscar Bellerby