love you, bye

Set in Manchester, England, and bathed in muted colors, love you, bye is an intimate 16mm portrait of two close friends navigating childhood, womanhood and the precarious cusp between the two.


It was a memorable day on the school playground when Georgina and Lily met nearly twenty years ago. There was a violation that connected them. They became best friends and spent their teenage years together doing dance classes, eating fast food and getting to grips with their new-found interest in boys.

But after school, life pushed them down separate paths. Lily got a scholarship to pursue documentary filmmaking in the Unites States, Georgina stayed in Manchester to make music and raise her two young sons. They grew up, their lives grew apart, but their friendship remained.

love you, bye sees documentary filmmaker Lily return home to explore the separation, distance, connection and intimacy that she shares with Georgina to this day. She films her time being back in Georgina’s daily life with her young children. Against a nostalgic 16mm backdrop of birthdays, brick walls and big nights out, the two women reflect on their past; their present and, what we discover were painful years between. What emerges from deeply personal conversations and questions to one another, is a picture of the patriarchal world in which they grew up - one in which their consent was questioned and their bodies were up for grabs. Twenty years on, they navigate the grief and silence that surround these memories, and in doing so discover a place of healing, love and loyalty.

  • Lily Freeston
  • Georgina Williams
  • Lily Freeston
  • Lily Freeston
  • Georgina Williams
  • Tom Dixon
    Sound Designer
  • Kate In
    Original score
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 14, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Lily Freeston

Lily Freeston is a British documentary filmmaker working across film, art and journalism to tell stories about womanhood, sexuality and gender-based violence. Her films often delve into unspoken stories and lived experiences that exist just beneath the surface of everyday life.

Lily spent the formative years of her career working as a journalist, reporter and producer for the BBC. She has had her ideas commissioned by Channel 4 and British culture magazine Dazed, and her films screened at BAFTA, The Institute of Contemporary Arts London and The Gene Siskel Center in Chicago. In 2020, Lily was awarded the first ever Fulbright-BAFTA scholarship and moved to the US to undertake an MFA in Documentary Film. She recently graduated and returned to the UK to begin the next chapter of her career.

Born and raised in the North of England, Lily is particularly interested in telling stories about the place she is from.

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Director Statement

In 2020 I moved to the US with a scholarship which would enable me to make documentary films. But landing in the States in the midst of a global pandemic led me to look inward, rather than out. It forced me to reflect, remember and contemplate.

love you, bye was borne out of this period of reflection. The film started out as a journey back home to explore the place I am from and the people I spent the formative years of my life with. It ultimately led me to one friend: my closest childhood friend, Georgina. I wasn’t prepared for what the process of making the film would bring to the surface.

Georgina and I spent the summer listening to music, scrolling on instagram and chatting in her back yard. A bolex camera and a little audio recorder captured it all. We talked about anything and everything. But it wasn’t until I was listening back to all of our conversations, and years worth of WhatsApp voice-notes, that I began to see a pattern. I began to see a world in which our teenage-selves struggled to say no. A world in which our bodies weren’t our own. A world in which we had very little power. I suddenly saw our stories, memories and experiences for what they were. And not only what they were back when we were fourteen, but how they showed up now, too. How we were still, at 30, negotiating ownership over our own bodies.

For the first time, I faced the long-lasting grief and silence that often surrounds sexual assault. Confronting these truths and acknowledging feelings that had long been pushed away was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. But making this film gave us the strength to be honest about experiences that many people go through, but often still struggle to talk about.