Experiencing Interruptions?


A young woman caring for her disabled husband must consider the strength of her commitment and the potential of her future when an old acquaintance makes an unexpected visit.

(DCP Available on request)

  • George Atkinson
  • George M. Atkinson
  • Ruth Berkoff
    Key Cast
    Destination: Dewsbury
  • Garth Maunders
    Key Cast
  • Dan Wrigley
    Key Cast
    Leaving Smith's Pond
  • Richard Joyce
    Director of Photography
  • Gary Atkinson
    Executive Producer
    Searching for Secret Heroes
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 33 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director - George Atkinson
Director Statement

Grace was an idea that I came up with in film school. The notion of creating a ‘moment in time’ for an audience rather than just another short film appealed to me. Many young film makers attempt to create science fiction or horror stories to capture the audience's attention. I wanted to try and go the opposite way and create a more grounded and real experience for an audience.
Living with someone who has a disability or someone who is impaired in some way has affected my life personally and I wanted to create a story that would show someone at the near breaking point of their patience and questioning their ability to live in this manner. Grace was born from that.
Ruth Berkoff who portrays the title role was so unbelievably committed in the audition I actually had to reign her in. I’ve never seen such commitment from someone at this lower budget range of film making.
I and the rest of the crew knew that the film would not be worthwhile unless the chemistry between the two leads was dynamite. Garth Maunders in his personal audition was very good but when he played the scene with Ruth, it blew our minds. DOP Richard Joyce’s and I utterly believed that they knew each other and that, in a small period of time ,they could seduce each other. Many of the other "couples auditions " had lacked something but when Ruth and Garth read together, there was electricity.
Dan Wrigley is simply an unstoppable force of nature. Portraying someone with a disability such as ALS or “Motor Neuron Disease” would be difficult at any budget level, including a Hollywood blockbuster but Dan just came in with a pitch perfect performance .
If someone watches this film who is suffering from the disease or is a carer they are going to scrutinise Dan's performance. I think he felt a real sense of responsibility to get this right. He knew that all eyes would be on him. You felt as though he was performing with purpose and commitment.
The film is about human beings and how they adapt to their circumstances. when their reality does not go to plan Grace, it seems , hasn’t adapted very well to her situation but she will learn ,in these 15 minutes, that she is in this reality now and must accept where she is.
Even Jake ,when he walks into this situation, had a very different game plan and different idea of what was going to happen. He is faced with brand new circumstances when he sees Paul, (Grace’s husband ) sitting in the chair. We see how he adapts even if he becomes the sort of ‘villain’ of the film.
Paul, I feel, has adapted to the best of his ability but it’s a terrible situation for him . We can see that he wrestles with it especially in the closing shots.
The film is open for interpretation of course, I have my feelings on it . It’s a very emotional and thought-provoking piece that I hope will get discussions going and won’t just offer a simple or straightforward resolution for people. I could never do a ‘Hollywood ending’ and wrap this story into a neat little bow. It’s brutal, complicated and a challenging situation that we tried our absolute best to do justice for.