Private Project

Little Boxes

LITTLE BOXES was shot entirely on Zoom during the height of the Covid lockdown. Whilst deep into pre-production to shoot another improv-based film in the traditional, location-based sense, the pandemic struck our plans a fatal blow. Having no other option, we decided not to concede defeat and made the decision to create the best, most realistic project we could with what we had at our disposal, under the most difficult of circumstances, inspired by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg’s "Dogme 95 Manifesto".

LITTLE BOXES is a drama about how governmental decisions during the pandemic affect the lives of ordinary people in a small corner of Northern England. This hyper-realistic, performance based film takes you on a journey through the world of video calling, observing the strain on relationships through these tiny Zoom windows - their own "little boxes" - and the pressures of enforced incarceration, paradoxically leading to revelations of truth.
Isolated by the virus, the whole world has had to try hold our loved ones close through a new means of communication, whilst we assess the still unknown, long term mental health issues, especially in our young.
The pain of separation. Together, yet apart.

LITTLE BOXES proves that necessity is the mother of invention and that art will always find a way.
The actor’s own lived experience of lockdown seeps through into their characters, alongside the mental pressures we were all buckling under. This enforced style of shooting created a safe place for the characters to communicate in a way that might not have been possible in a conventional filming environment.

  • Raffaello Degruttola
    Transference, Flim, The Other Side of My Sleep
  • Raffaello Degruttola
    Transference, Flim, The Other Side of My Sleep
  • Lee Boardman
    HBO’s Rome, Brexit:The Uncivil War, Outlander
  • Jennifer James
    Shameless, Secrets and Words
  • Nina De Mitri
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 21 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 7, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Raffaello Degruttola

Raffaello was born in North London, England. He is an English Italian Actor-writer and director. His notable acting film credits include The Hustle (2019), Rush (2013), Saving Private Ryan (1998), In Love and War (1997), Wit (2011), Quantum of Solace (2008) and Unlocked (2017). He wrote and directed his first feature, Flim: The Movie in 2014, which was nominated for a British Independent film award in the category British Debut. In 2021 my second feature 'Transference A Love Story' recieved the Jury mention at the SRFF in NYC 2020 and an official selection at The Arizona International film festival in 2020, amongst others. Both films were picked up for distribution world wide after these selections.

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Director Statement

After the Covid pandemic pulled the rug from under our planned project, I had an idea that I thought worth shooting and decided to make it in the most unconventional way, rather than be stuck in pre production for decades. This is my third feature that started with an idea and a group of people committed to the journey. Generally my approach is to work with the actors creating an ethos that uses hyperrealism as a cinematic style while exploring current cultural and social conditions.