1 – Hi Florence. Congratulations on your directorial debut film winning “Best British Short” at the London Independent Film Awards! Can you tell us about ‘The Otherworld’ and where/when it can be seen?
Thank you so much! The Otherworld is a short I made last fall that was filmed on Jurassic Coast in the UK where I grew up. It’s mainly about the mythology of England but it’s also a love letter to the landscape. It’s gonna be shown at a London Independent Film Awards competing for the Grand Jury Prize at the end of April as well as some other festivals worldwide throughout the year!!
2 – Can you tell us about PAPYRUS, and what led you to create your auction, #DressForLife?
PAPYRUS is the UK suicide prevention charity for young people (https://www.papyrus-uk.org/). Although they focus on prevention, they also provide support for people who have been affected by suicide, as well as influencing government policy in the UK. I got involved with them after I lost two friends to suicide and wanted to do something. My Dad who’s a psychiatrist put me in touch with Ged, the CEO, who has been absolutely wonderful and supportive.
3 – Who is most at risk to attempt suicide – Can you provide some statics?
The highest suicide rate in the UK is in middle-aged men, however it is also the biggest killer of young people. In 2014, 1556 people under 35 were lost to suicide, the youngest being 10 years old.
4 – What is the greatest misconception about suicide?
I think there are two great misconceptions about suicide. The first is that if you attempt suicide you are ‘weak’ – most people who die by suicide appear to have had a long and hugely difficult personal battle. I don’t think it’s something that people do easily and it is not a sign of weakness. The path to suicide is something I think most people cannot comprehend. The second huge misconception is that only people who appear to be overwhelmingly miserable are at risk.
5 – What should people do if they have a loved one struggling with depression?
Get help. What kind of help will depend on each person’s circumstances, but mention of depression and suicide should always be taken incredibly seriously. There are helplines available if people feel like they can’t talk to parents or friends – in the UK HOPLElineUK can be reached at 0800 068 41 41 and in the US, The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention has a suicide prevention lifeline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
6 – What are the designer items available for the auction?
So we have a lot of great items available for the auction! There is a Chanel makeup kit and perfume set, bags by Aspinal of London, Mother of Pearl, Lulu Guinness, Mulberry England and a great weekend one from Margaret Howell! Theres also scarves from Paul Smith and DAKS, shoes from Malone Souiliers and ready-to-wear from House of Holland, Fyodor Golan, Pippa Holt Kaftans, Topshop Unique, Allsaints, Amanda Wakely, Wolf & Badger and Hunter Wellies! GET BIDDING!!!!
7 – How long will the auction run for?
The auction will run for 5 days from 16th March – 21st March
8 – Is this a one-time event? Will you be bringing it to the States?
I’m hoping that following the success of this there will be many more auctions and events to come. With regard to the USA, you can bid for any the items and I will post them to you!!! However, in the future, I would hope to bring a live event to the States as New York has become a second home for me.
9 – Do you have other projects (of any kind) on the horizon we should keep an eye out on?
So many!!! (haha)! On a similar theme to the #DressForLife auction there’s a short film, Jean, where I play the titular character who is dealing her brother’s attempted suicide. This will be on the festival circuit later this year. There’s also a fashion film I’ve directed, ‘Splash!’ that’s based around Esther Williams and the golden age of Hollywood that will be released on the internet very soon!! The other really exciting thing I’m working on, is taking an American play, ‘Favors’ to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this year. Busy busy busy! Thanks for taking the time to chat to me!! Flo X
BID NOW by visiting: #DressForLife