Private Project


Lonely and chaotic dementia carer SARAH has to decide what to do when her new employer STANLEY mistakes her for his Granddaughter.

  • John Dower
    Wolfblood, EastEnders, The day After Stonewall Died
  • Leigh-Anne Gilbert
  • John Dower
    A River Story
  • Leigh-Anne Gilbert
    Key Cast
  • Alan Rothwell
    Key Cast
    Alan Partridge - Papa Alpha, Coronation Street, Doctors
  • Jane Slavin
    Key Cast
    Doctor Who, Casualty, Lewis
  • Dominic Mafham
    Key Cast
    Our Mutual Friend, The Clinic, The English Patient
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 26, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • St Albans Film festival
    St Albans
    United Kingdom
    July 1, 2018
  • Legacy Film festival on Ageing
    San Francisco
    United States
    September 14, 2018
    Official Selection
  • Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival
    October 6, 2018
    Official Selection
  • International Short Film Festival of India ( ISFFI)
    June 14, 2019
    India Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Screen & Story Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    September 4, 2020
    Opening Film - Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Self distributed
Director Biography - John Dower

John Dower trained at the Northern Film School, Leeds and the Polish National Film School, Lodz.
He has directed several short films, appearing in over 60 festivals and winning awards in Locarno, Chicago, Dublin, Brussels & Toronto, among others. His most recent short THE DAY AFTER STONEWALL DIED won Best Short Film at Cannes Short Film Festival 2014.
He has directed many drama episodes for Television, including WOLFBLOOD for CBBC/ZDF, EASTENDERS & CASUALTY for BBC1 and MAKE MY DAY for C4.
His work in Motion Capture, voice and animation, has seen him work as story and cutscene Director on the groundbreaking xbox Kinect game MILO & KATE for Lionhead/Microsoft and 007 LEGENDS for Eurocom/Activision/Eon among many others titles.
He now divides his time between directing TV Drama, developing feature projects and running his training/consultancy company in Motion Capture performance

Writer & Lead Actor - LEIGH-ANNE GILBERT

Leigh-Anne trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School after a brief career in the police and studying drama at university.
Whilst having mainly performed in theatre -
Dinosaur Dreams at the Etcetera Theatre;
The Assembly Women at The VAULT Festival;
A Light Shining In Buckinghamshire at the Cockpit Theatre;
Doubles at East 15’s Corbett Theatre;
All My Sons at The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham;
& Much Ado About Nothing at The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City -
“KAYLA” marks not only her first significant screen work but also her writing debut.
Director Mike Leigh said this about the film after we invited him to our cast & crew screening, a great testament to Leigh-Anne's abilities -
"A great little film. The story is short and simple, but it is original, moving and well-judged. What is so impressive about Leigh-Anne Gilbert, is that her consummate acting skills are matched by her impressive achievement as the screenwriter".

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Sometimes you have to trust your gut.
I met Leigh-Anne Gilbert while teaching at East 15 Acting School in suburban London. Something stood out. I could see her in a longer film. She showed her character's inner pain, communicating her emotions without words, by a look, a gesture. I suggested making a film with her.
2 years later, when I was busy with other projects, she challenged me to make good my proposal. I suggested she come up with a character that we might develop. She did better than that - she came up with a character, a set-up and a story. "Kayla" was born.
After another year or two of refining, structuring, casting and looking for locations we were ready to make our own film.
We have made a film about pain, loss and redemption which asks several questions -
When an old person has lost their memory, should we go along with what makes them happy? Even if we know we are living a lie? Who should make that decision? The family who have no time to look after him, or his carer?
Our film looks at how we look after our elders and forces the audience to collude in a moral dilemma.
And when I look at it, at what we have achieved and how we used the germ of Leigh-Anne's idea to attract such a great cast, crew and post-production team, willing to go that extra mile because of our passion and belief in the project, I believe that my gut has been proved right.
I hope you like our film.

John Dower London March 2018