Real Stories of Street Homelessness
Sleeping Rough is a community-based film raising awareness of street homelessness in the UK. Using real interviews conducted with rough sleepers and members of the homeless community all around the country, the film is a docudrama that follows three characters, looking at the circumstances that force each of them to sleep on the street.
- Sleeping Rough follows three characters, each on their journey to street homelessness. Jack is an engineer who, through a chain of events, loses his job, his flat, and his family. Catherine is a young woman who moves straight out of care into a flat with her boyfriend, however it soon becomes clear that the relationship is emotionally abusive, and with no-one to turn to, she escapes onto the streets. Eva is an immigrant who, to avoid being deported, accepts a job where she is underpaid, overworked and exploited. Soon, she too decides to escape.
- All the events in the film have been described to us by members of the homeless community; everything that takes place has happened to someone; it’s real. While the events follow a script, all the dialogue is improvised, and was established through a series of rehearsals between Owain Astles, the film’s director, and the film’s cast, many of whom have experience of homelessness themselves. Many of the scenes in the film were shot on location, in shelters and soup kitchens, and on the streets, so the actors were plunged right into the situations they were bringing to life.
- We've worked with a number of homeless charities, including St Petrock's, Cardboard Citizens and Spring of Hope, in order to raise awareness of the issues there are, and what's being done to change them. Check out our News page for some of the interviews we've held with organisations such as Crisis and The Big Issue. We ran a Kickstarter campaign just before Christmas, successfully raising over £6,000 for the film.
- During the Kickstarter campaign, we released a single entitled 'See Me'; a collaboration between Dan Baboulene, Paul John Bailey and ex-rough sleeper, Miguel Dean. You can download/stream the full song here.
For more information about the film, including behind-the-scenes pics, screening details and our manifesto, just scroll down!
Behind the scenes
Homelessness is a massive problem in the UK; the number of people sleeping rough has increased by over 100% in just the last 5 years, funding for homeless services has been slashed and every day, more people are finding themselves forced onto the streets. Over the last couple of years, Pastles Productions has undertaken our biggest project to date; collecting interviews from rough sleepers, council members and charity workers from around the UK, in order to create a feature film raising awareness of homelessness.
Back at the beginning of 2016, I ventured out onto the streets of Bristol to make a short documentary about rough sleepers in the UK. In doing so I got stared at, heckled and abused by bystanders however I met some of the most humble, gracious and pleasant people I’ve met in my life. It was a shocking and enjoyable experience at the same time, and I was astonished by the positive response the video got from the homeless community and beyond.
As a result of the response I got from the video, we got to work on a longer film with the intention of further raising awareness of homelessness, the causes of it, what rough sleepers go through on a day-to-day basis, and what we can do to help. The film centres around three characters, looking at the different ways each of them ended up on the streets, and is a dramatisation of interviews held with homeless people, talking about their lives on the street.
Owain, Director of Sleeping Rough
Screenings & Events
This is where we'll include all details of upcoming screenings and events as part of the campaign.
- Homeless Awareness Week 2018
- 24th February - 3rd March 2018
- Various locations around Bristol
- A week dedicated to raising awareness of homelessness in Bristol, filled with exhibitions, activities and ways for the public to get involved in the homeless community.
- Screening, Performance + Q&A
- 27th February 2018
- Watershed Cinema, Bristol
- The first public screening of Sleeping Rough, along with a Forum Theatre performance by Cardboard Citizens and a Q&A including Owain, the film's director.
The latest posts & news about Sleeping Rough.
Back in November, we had our first preview for Sleeping Rough, Pastles Productions’ first feature film. We were really lucky to screen at The Big Issue Foundation’s Big Sleep Out at the Oval, London, where film got an amazing reception, and we were stunned by the positive feedback from both members of the public and Big…
Incredibly, it’s exactly a year since we first published our Kickstarter for Sleeping Rough… We’ve come a really long way since then, and it’s entirely thanks to all the support we’ve had throughout the process; from charities, organisations and above all, from you guys, our backers and all the individuals who’ve pushed us to get…
That’s a wrap! After a fairly intense week and all the research we’ve done over the last few months, we’re delighted to say that shooting finished yesterday on our Exeter Phoenix-commissioned film, The Hardest Fight! The whole cast and crew were amazing, and a special thank you goes to Empire Fighting Chance in Bristol for…
Slightly surreal, but today was our last shoot day for Sleeping Rough… It was a tough shoot, sometimes taking some real bravery from cast and crew to pull through, but we did it, and we couldn’t have done it without every single member of the team, from van driver to make up artist, to actors.…
Homeless Awareness Week was a massive success, culminating in the Sleep Out, where over 100 people helped raise more than £10k for various homeless services in Bristol and nationally, including One25, Crisis Centre Ministeries and The Big Issue Foundation. After the Sleep Out, we had a weekend packed full of rehearsals for the film. It…
After months of preparation, the Kickstarter campaign for @SleepingRoughFilm has finally gone live, and we are calling on you to follow the link, watch the video and SHARE. This project is so important and has so much potential to make a difference, but it really cannot be done without your support. #youcanhelp
This morning, the Senior Policy Officer at Crisis, Alice Ashworth, kindly took some time out of her working day to speak to us about our Sleeping Rough project and the work that Crisis does to improve the situation of homeless people in the UK. by Melita Cameron-Wood M: One of the main things that we…
Cast & Crew
Owain is a young filmmaker and director of Pastles Productions, a film production company that aims to make films raising awareness of social and political issues. Previous work includes KiDS, a short film about bullying in schools, The Hardest Fight, a campaign to raise awareness of links between mental health and boxing and Rife-commissioned Crisis and Hope, a documentary series about homeless charities in Bristol.
Melita’s past experience includes pre-programming and research at Cinegraph and marketing and social media at Crossing The Screen International Film Festival. She founded the International Film Society at the University of Oxford and was an active member of OUDS and Oxide radio. She also spent several months working in a community theatre (Alarm Theater) which led dramatic projects based on real life experiences with refugees, prison inmates and members of the public.
Nolan is a Scottish actor “who loves being an actor”. His two other most recent films were Redcon-1, based on 8 special forces embarked on a suicide mission in a world of the undead, and The Sprint King, based on the life story of famous jockey Dandy Nichols and his unruly horse SOBA, which premiered in London, June 2016.
Sleeping Rough is Elle’s first experience of acting onscreen, having been in a series of theatre productions, including Cardboard Citizens’ adaptations of LandAid and Cathy Come Home (playing the title character).
Meg is an English actress and bodybuilder who is best known for her role as Katie Fitch in the double BAFTA-winning teen drama Skins. Megan was recently cast as Jade Podfer on the British drama show called Holby City and in a horror movie Shortcuts To Hell: Volume 1.
Michael is a young actor from London who’s been involved in several productions with Cardboard Citizens, as well as a number of theatre productions and commercials.
Hayley has also worked extensively with Cardboard Citizens, and was cast in the principal role of 15 year old Danielle in their Forum Theatre tour of Cathy, as well as 2015 TV Movie Is This Rape?.
David is a British Nigerian actor who has worked with Cardboard Citizens over the last few years and makes his film debut in Sleeping Rough.
We speak a lot about what we can do to reduce homelessness, to make sure people have homes of their own and aren’t being forced to live on the street. It’s a complicated issue, with hundreds of answers, and not one of them is totally right. We may never ‘fix’ homelessness. But this campaign would be pointless if we didn’t at least try. There are several things we can do to at least better the situation, and we've set out our manifesto for change right here.
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