Private Project


If the truth could mean the end of everything, how far would you go to keep the person you love in the dark?

When Anne fails to return from an appointment, Sarah begins to worry. Sarah is blind, and despite being in her mid twenties she still lives at home with her mother, Anne. As the hours drag by Sarah begins to panic, but when she series to escape she soon realizes that the home she has known and lived in her whole life is in fact a prison. Locked and barred. With no way out.

Exhausted after a frantic attempt at escape she collapses in her mothers bedroom and falls asleep. Upon waking she’s confronted with something wholly unexpected. For the first time ever she is starting to see. Shocked and amazed she makes her way to the bathroom where she is greeted by her own reflection for the first time. Growing accustomed to this amazing development she begins to explore but soon her wonderment turns sour as she discovers that her mother, far from being protecting her, has been keeping her prisoner her entire life. As the revelations gain pace Sarah realizes the true, savage nature of her mothers love. When finally she stumbles, numb and distressed into her own bedroom she is greeted with the grim means of control that Anne has been using all these years to ensure her daughter never leaves her side.

"Darklight is an ambitious, engrossing piece of filmmaking,
highly atmospheric, with strong production values enhanced by very good performances. An enjoyable story that left you wanting more."

BAFTA-Award winning Producer Stephen Woolley (Crying Game, Made in Dagenham)

  • Richard Turley
    Strings (2014), Mingmong (2014)
  • David Pusey
    Mingmong (2014)
  • Richard Turley
    Strings (2014)
  • Richard Turley
    Mingmong (2014)
  • David Pusey
  • Alicia Ambrose-Bayley
    Key Cast
  • Tilly Vosburgh
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2012
  • Production Budget:
    18,500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • London Film Festival
    London, UK
    October 16, 2012
    World Premiere
  • London Short Film Festival
    London, UK
    January 8, 2013
  • Shuffle Film Festival
    London, UK
    August 15, 2013
  • BAFTA Long-listed
    London, UK
    January 1, 2013
    Longlisted for award
  • Best of Boroughs Award (Special Mention)
    London, UK
    July 16, 2012
    Special Mention Award
  • Worldfest Houston
    Houston, TX
    April 18, 2015
    International Premiere
    Award won
Director Biography - Richard Turley

A BAFTA-nominated multi-genre Director, Richard has more than a decade of experience in broadcast television and more recently, film. His work to date has largely been factual or drama-documentary though increasingly he is turning his focus to narrative drama.

For Richard story is key, and he has a passion for bringing great tales to screen whether through real life testimony or dramatic interpretation. ‘Strings’ is his first solo writing project.

In 2012 Richard produced his debut independent short film ‘Darklight’ with backing from Film London. Directed and co-written by Richard the resulting film shines with imagination and charm that look set to become his hallmark as a Director. Described as ‘a constantly surprising tale... that leads you eager for a sequel’ ‘Darklight’ went on to be long-listed for a BAFTA in 2013.

Richard lives in London, UK and can be contacted in the following ways:

Phone: +44(0)7967481722
Twitter: @richturley

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The idea for Darklight came to me after a Health and Safety training session. We were told about an accident that had occurred on-set involving ultra-violet light, which rendered nearly twenty members of the crew temporarily blind.

I didn’t instantly think, “hey, that’s a great idea for a film” but it planted a seed in my mind and a few months later it popped up. I started thinking about how ultra-violet light could be used in a sinister way – how someone might use it to deliberately blind another person. The breakthrough came when I was on the London Underground and I saw a mother and daughter at a busking pitch. The daughter was blind and was singing whilst her mother sat next to her on a stool. Despite them taking part in such an outgoing activity as busking, you could tell they were quite reclusive and depended greatly on each other. The daughter was beyond the age you’d expect someone to still be living at home and there was something quite uncomfortable with the way the mother sat there listening to the songs she sang.

This pair became the inspiration for Anne and Sarah, and earlier versions of the script actually featured them busking in much the same way, though we dropped this because we felt that Anne wouldn’t be the sort of person to want to draw attention to herself or Sarah for fear of difficult questions being asked.

We were confident in the script, but knew that casting was going to be fundamental. We had no casting director so took the task in hand ourselves, scanning pages and pages of profiles on ‘Spotlight’ and auditioning as many people as we could see. Alicia was someone we knew we wanted the moment we met her, her eyes are so powerful and the emotion she conveyed was incredible – especially considering that most of her work to date had been comedy. Tilly was a chance find. She’s someone I’ve seen so many times on television and she’s one of those actresses that is constantly in demand. I arrived home one evening to find a drama on the television and looked up just at the moment it cut to a scene featuring Tilly. Instantly I knew we had to have her – but would someone of her status even consider us? Thankfully she has a brilliant agent, and luckily for us she saw the potential in the script and passed it on to Tilly who in turn agreed to take the part.

We had discussed several possible finales to Darklight and realized there were several different things that could happen after Anne’s return home, so we didn’t want to force an outcome on the audience. It actually helps create a really tense ending – and the satisfaction of hearing people discuss their own thoughts on what comes next is very enjoyable indeed.

Darklight was completed in late June 2012 and received its world premiere at the London Film Festival in October 2012.