Yorkshire burns. Between grouse shooting, environmentalism and disgruntled locals, a naïve sceptic uncovers a narrative which spans generations, and both unites and divides the proud people of Yorkshire and Britain itself.

'Ceasefire' is a feature-length documentary shot over the course of a year on the North York Moors, covering the little-known activity called Heather Burning, and the Grouse Shooting that it enables. It follows Ben Douglass, a young Northerner, who has extreme prejudice against the shoots, as he meets a broad spectrum of locals and his opinions are tested. He experiences themes of legacy, adventure and tradition in his year-long journey, and confronts moral dilemmas which linger long in the audience's mind.



Full DCI 4K online version of the film is found above.

The film is available to screen from a 4K (Clean or Subtitled) or 2K DCP (Subtitled Only) and 4K or HD ProRes. Blu Rays are also available.

'Ceasefire' is presented in 1.85:1 in a DCI 'Flat' / 1.85:1 [aspect ratio] container, at 25fps, and in either a 5.1 Surround Sound Theatrical Mix or 2.0 Stereo Theatrical Mix.

  • Ralph Sansum
  • Ben Holt
  • Ben Douglass
    Key Cast
  • Ben Holt
  • Philip Kapadia
  • Louis Holder
    Post Production Producer
  • Isabell Derr
    Sound Designer
  • Rebecca Smith
    Dubbing Mixer
  • Ralph Sansum
    Sound Recordists
  • Ben Holt
    Sound Recordists
  • Nathan Rushby-Jones
    GFX/FLAME Artist
  • Louis Holder
  • Ben Holt
  • Hania Pikulska
    Camera Assistant
  • Ben Holt
  • Philip Kapadia
    Online Editor
  • Louis Holder
    Addidional Assistant Editor
  • Ralph Sansum
    Additional Camera Operator
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    56 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 23, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    2,870 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ralph Sansum

Ralph first ventured into the Documentary medium when an undergraduate at the Film BA (Hons) course at the University of Westminster. In their final year (along with four other students) went up North to Newcastle Upon Tyne for sixteen days to film Oh Me Lads (2019). With an original plan of the style of their first documentary, Ralph soon learned that unforeseen circumstances would shift the focus from an educational documentary to an observational coming of age story. “I think that’s what attracted me to documentaries in the first place, not knowing what was going to happen but taking the risk” Ralph says.

Unlike any previous project our documentary team is a real collaboration, it's very diplomatic when it comes to decisions around our film. Oh Me Lads was 24 minutes in length and went on to win a Student Royal Television Society Award back in 2020. “We were overjoyed, it was an interesting time then as we all had our separate jobs, some outside the film world, and the group were all over the country doing their own thing. I was very keen to make something again.”

Ralph’s day job is in onset visual effects for major US and French Studios in the UK. Ralph finds the difference between that medium and documentary filmmaking very appealing because the two are so different. On fictional film sets everything is very controlled and planned whereas when filming a documentary there is a greater sense of freedom in what Ralph does and unpredictability when shooting a documentary that is refreshing. “I’m really just starting my career, but it’s nice when not working to be working on our own stuff as a group where we call the shots.”

The format of Ralph’s documentaries so far follow Ben’s journey. “As a director, I’m honoured to direct Ben Douglass who we all owe a lot to as a force of charisma and intrigue is not something the group take for granted.”

“Ben Douglass had the original idea for Oh Me Lads and Ben Holt’s was Ceasefire, I think it’s time for me to come up with our next one.” Ralph hopes the unbiased approach the group has taken with Ben Douglass as their subject is an interesting one to the viewer.

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Director Statement

Similarly to Ben Douglass in Ceasefire I had never heard of Heather Burning before our documentary group’s Producer Ben Holt told us about it. We found that the burning in the media mainly focused on the environmental impact or the controversy surrounding it. We couldn't find anything substantial that filmed people from the area that actually participated in the burn, or those in the area who are against it. By throwing Ben Douglass into the area he was our guide. He could connect to fellow Northerners and make up his own mind. Most people our age including Ben are anti shooting, we wanted to hear from the people who support the shoots and see how they could affect Ben's opinion.

Ceasefire makes connections between people and the landscape they inhabit. The burning links to grouse, game-keeping, links to land management, which then links to the burning again.
The themes of legacy, local identity and tradition are threads in both ‘Ceasefire’, and in our last documentary Oh Me Lads. Life is about different opinions, and when he was exposed to people face-to-face, it was interesting to see how Ben’s opinion shifted. We attempt to speak to as many different groups of people as possible to give our subject a balanced perspective to make up their own mind and the audience is then left to decide if they agree with him or not.
We shot for a year on and off in order to capture the full cycle of the burn and the heather throughout the seasons as the land management has its own cycle. The gaps in between shooting the documentary allowed time for reflection as a group.

We hope people enjoy listening to new voices as Ben Douglass goes on this journey through the North York Moors.