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Nectar

Written and directed by Liz Crow
16 minute drama, 2005
36 minute three-part documentary, 2006
With audio description, captions and BSL interpretation

About

A short film written and directed by Liz Crow, Nectar follows Walter Kendall, a man who has lived all his 91 years in the same city. When his beloved wife Gloria dies, he is overtaken with memories of the day he discovered what he really wanted from life.

It’s 1931 and Walter is a young deaf swimmer bound for glory. But on the eve of selection for the Olympic squad, Walter knows with sudden clarity that the dream he is following is not his own. Can he find the courage to turn from the expectations of others towards a life and language of his own? Trusting his instincts, Walter finds that simplicity can make for the sweetest of lives.

Nectar is accompanied by Making Nectar, a documentary that looks behind the scenes at the film’s production, providing insight in to how the film brings a fresh representation of disabled people to the screen and how innovative approaches make the film accessible to deaf and visually impaired audiences.

Both films are also available to buy on DVD.

Awards

Merit Award, Superfest, 2006

Governor of California’s Media Access Award, 2006

DVD of the Month, One in Seven magazine, 2006

Best Male Actor, Best Director, Best Short Film, International Cinema and

Video Festival of the Deaf, Milan, 2006

Commended, e-Wellbeing Awards, 2006

Honorable Mention, Projections Film Festival, 2007

Telecommunications Foundation for the Deaf: Film of Note, 2007

First ever public screening in India of an audio described film, 2007

Stills

  • Seven boys in swimming costumes sit along the edge of a swimming pool. Walter sits with feet in the water, but still wearing a dressing gown. Coach stands in the background, wearing a stripy blazer and cream hat. Next to him is Rachel, holding notes and a walkie-talkie. To the left of the pool stands the sign language interpreter.
  • Under a black awning, Director Liz Crow sits on her wheelchair, looking intently at a monitor and holding a walkie-talkie ready to speak. Behind her in bright sunshine is the camera crew.
  • Next to a green and red wooden barrow, laden with fruit and vegetables, Walter and Gloria stand facing each other. She wears a 1930s floral dress and light blue cardigan, and a small hat with flowers. She holds her hands aloft, signing hesitantly. Walter wears a greengrocer’s apron and stands with his thumbs tucked in the front pocket, mesmerised by Gloria and her signing.
  • A close-up of a pair of feet in some scruffy black shoes and grey ankle socks.
  • A pile of newspapers. Headlines include 'Knife Attack Alleged' and 'War As Nature's Pruning Hook'.
  • Jacob stands, arms raised, as Paul fits his microphone ready for the market scene. Dressed in shift and tank top, with his fruit-and-veg stall apron, Jacob is fitted with the vintage bakelite hearing aid.
  • A white marquee stands behind the swimming pontoon, which is decorated but still empty of actors. The crew are on the banks preparing to shoot, with camera tests taking place.
  • Members of the crew stand in a line by the pontoon holding feeding out lane ropes ready to divide the lanes in the swimming lake. Behind them, the scene is already decorated in festive red, white and blue bunting.
  • Everyone is wrapped against the chill. Liz geticulates. Rachel has a megaphone under one arm and holds a clipboard.
  • Director Liz Crow sits on the lakeside grass surrounded by the swimming lads and members of the crew
  • Eight swimmers line up along a pontoon festooned with patriotic red, white and blue, preparing to dive into lake water. The marshall, in navy blazer and straw boater, stands to one side. Behind the swimmers, supporters crowd the grassy banks.
  • A battered blackboard with the words 'Water Temperature' painted on in white. Two metal labels in the centre of the board read '56'.
  • Seven male swimmers stand in a row pulling poses. Each wears a woollen swimming costume that covers their entire torso and a swimming cap with chin strap.
  • A dozen crew line up on a grassy lake bank, looking out to the action beyond the frame.
  • At the lake side, Dave sets up the long arm of the jib ready to shoot the moment in the big race when Walter (Jacob Casselden) makes his big decision.
  • Dressed in royal blue overcoats and military-style caps, five members of the band, one with his leg raised high, share a joke between takes.
  • At the lakeside shoot, a red dressing gown over his swimsuit, Jacob mugs for the camera, his proud dad next to him.
  • Cameraman David Ellington looks through the camera viewfinder, members of the crew busy in the background.
  • At the lakeside, Director Liz Crow sits in her wheelchair in a red raincoat and scarf, a sign language interpreter seated next to her. In the background, the jimmy jib is being prepared for the filming the big race.
  • Seven members of the cast from the lakeside shoot pose together for a photo, all dressed in period costume, Union flag bunting festooned behind them. The men wear suits and the woman is wearing a yellow dress and a white overcoat. All wear boaters, fedoras or caps.
  • At the lakeside, James and Poppy beam at the camera. James is dressed in a brown suit and cap, whilst Poppy wears a vintage hat with a modern sweater and scarf covering her 1930s summer dress.
  • A cast member waits on set between lake scene takes, a loose tie around his neck and a brown fedora on his head.
  • The swimmers stand in a huddle, looking cold and draped head to toe in a large communal blanket.
  • Outside a church, Gloria, clothed in a ivory wedding dress, holding a spray of lilies and ivy, and Walter, dressed in a brown suit, lean in to each other to kiss.

Further Reading

Screenings

  • UK

    Premiere at Arnolfini, Bristol
    VisionSign event, Watershed, Bristol
    Cube Cinema, Bristol
    Disability Film Festival, London
    Bird’s Eye View Film Festival
    South West Disability Film Festival, Exeter.
    Filmstock, Luton
    Disability Rights Commission
    Mimosa Festival, The Sage, Gateshead
    Plymouth Exchange
    DaDaFest, Liverpool
    BDA Deaf Arts and Film Festival
    BDA BSL Recognition Day
    Deaf Rochester Film Festival, New York
    Borderlines Film Festival, Hereford
    Skylight Cinema, Devon
    The Great Create, Devon
    Purbeck Film Festival
    Outside Centre Disability Film Festival, Wolverhampton
    Bird’s Eye View Int. touring programme
    Swansea Community Voluntary Service
    Bristol City Council
    Filton College, Bristol
    Disability Pride, Norwich
    Bristol Deaf Festival
    Our Deaf Bristol
    Watershed, Bristol
    Together! 2012 festival, University of East London
    2013 Disability History Month Festival

  • Canada

    Picture This Film Festival, Canada
    Projections Film Festival, Toronto

  • Denmark

    Danish Disability Film Festival

  • France

    Retour d’Image, Paris

  • Italy

    International Cinema and Video Festival of the Deaf, Milan

  • The Netherlands

    Deaf in the Picture, Amsterdam

  • Poland

    Cracovian DeafNight Project
    European Festival of Deaf People’s Culture, Lodz

  • Russia

    Moscow International Disability Film Festival

  • US

    Bodies of Work, Chicago
    Superfest, Berkeley, USA
    International Disability Film Showcase, San Fransisco
    Plymouth International Film Festival, Massachusetts, USA
    Deaf Studies Today Film Festival, Utah
    University of Mary Washington
    Utah Valley State College
    Disability Arts and Culture, Oregon

  • Broadcast

    Propellor TV

Credits

  • Nectar

    Writer-Director
    Liz Crow

    Producer
    Abigail Davies

    Director of Photography
    Terry Flaxton

    Production Designer
    Simon Hicks

    Editor
    Bim Ajadi

    Composer
    Barnaby Taylor

    Co-Producer
    Rachel Drummond-Hay

    Assistant Producer
    Sue Fairbanks

    Deaf Consultant
    Lorna Allsop

    Audio Description Consultant
    Raina Haig

    Production Assistant
    Martin Elston

    Main Cast
    Jacob Casselden
    Ian Chandler
    Joe Hall
    Poppy Roberts

    Production
    Roaring Girl Productions in association with DA2

  • Making Nectar

    Writer-Director
    Liz Crow

    Presented by
    Liz Crow
    Ahmed Mudawi
    Glenn Lewis

    Produced by
    Liz Crow
    Sue Fairbanks

    Camera
    David Ellington
    Sue Fairbanks

    Editor
    Glenn Lewis

    Sound
    Thomas Ozanne

    DVD authoring
    Glenn Lewis
    Adart Design

Press

  • The jewel of the festival… an exceptional achievement

    Disability Now
  • Nectar is up there with the likes of Notting Hill and Love Actually

    Bristol Evening Post
  • A beautifully directed, warm and entertaining drama with great performances and an evocative period atmosphere. Nectar is surprising, thought provoking and memorable

    Peter Cattaneo, Director, The Full Monty
  • A beautifully directed, evocative, well-crafted period set piece

    Paul Trijbits, UK Film Council New Cinema Fund
  • A wonderful story that draws you in and takes you away. I couldn’t bear to blink. The film is shot with the detailed attention of a word perfect poet and takes the use of words in films to a new level. When the credits start rolling the viewer is left thinking. I can’t stop thinking about it, I like thinking films. I have heard of nectars that must be tasted, this Nectar has to be seen

    Benjamin Zephaniah, poet
  • Liz Crow’s Nectar is a beautifully crafted, classy piece of quality, mainstream drama that enchants, intrigues and delights the viewer

    Mat Fraser, actor, presenter and musician
  • Nectar made me cry like a big girl. I think it’s great. Great performances, looks amazing, great sound design. Ah hell, it’s fantastic

    Ben Blaine, Mobile Cinema
  • A sweet uplifting film about making your own choice. A simple story, yet very moving, showing different kinds of courage and consequential emotions portrayed so well by actors Jacob Casselden and Ian Chandler. I can predict a deaf audience cheering when they see what Walter does with his hearing aid

    Caroline Parker, Deaf performer
  • …a poignant love story….a gem

    Superfest
  • A highly professional, must-see film. It is a simple but poignant love story that subtly intertwines with complex Deaf cultural, sign language, disability and access issues. Once seen, this film will not be forgotten

    Forest Books
  • Nectar gives a sense of light and life from times past. A film rich in content and vibrant in humanity

    Teatrale Senza Parole – Milano
  • With glorious cinematography and exquisite attention to detail, established British director Liz Crow creates a cinematic jewel

    University of Mary Washington

Sponsors

  • NESTA
  • Films @ 59
  • itv West

Crow, Liz (2005) (Nectar), Roaring Girl Productions [online] [Available at: http://www.roaring-girl.com/work/nectar/] [Accessed 18/08/2017]