More than 70% of sex workers are mothers and since the austerity cuts have hit women especially hard, more have turned to prostitution as a way of earning much needed income. This narrative fiction film provokes thought and feeling by portraying a loving and nurturing relationship between a mother and her young child. The only difference between her and other mothers is that she works as a prostitute to make ends meet. By depicting the real dangers she faces, the film shows what it is truly like for so many mothers out there, mothers who are stigmatized and criminalised. Our decision to cast a doll as 'mum' is deliberate - turning a stereotyped sex object into a normal, hard-working, caring mother. Our film is full of surprises: the reveal of our 'silent' mother who is loved whole-heartedly, the apparent casualness of 'business on the street' with no protection, the stark brutal evidence of death whilst a child sleeps on, the realisation from a photo frame that this daughter had a real mother. The perception of how we choose to see this woman is challenged. Above all, this film encourages us to start seeing sex workers as real people.

  • Meriem Adib
  • Meriem Adib
  • Claire Cottrell
    Top Dog, short film
  • Lola Eldridge
    Key Cast
  • Stuart Hancock
    We're going on a Bear Hunt, Atlantis
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 22, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Meriem Adib

Meriem is an award-winning short-form director. She started making films when she was a kid and hasn't looked back. Her credits include high-end work directing Idris Elba, Premiership footballers, Bear Grylls and James Cracknell, to name but a few. As well as talent-led directing her work includes stunningly choreographed mis-en-scene for idents and commercials. She has a wide range of clients from all over the world.

Meriem is the writer and director behind Mum, a short film which launched in Parliament and has gained much celebrity support and press coverage.

Meriem wins the trust of those in front of the camera ....Whether they are used to being filmed or not. Resourceful and focused she thrives under pressure and her aim is always to create beautiful, strong work that captivates.

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Director Statement

When Amnesty came out in support of decriminalising sex work, and because of the controversy it caused, I started to look into the subject with an open mind. I found out that over 70% of sex workers are mothers (as am I) and so I wrote MUM out of empathy with them and hope audiences will see them as real people, mothers...