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Finding Fathers R&D 2022

A special project of ours was working  on 'Finding Fathers' a film, dance and music journey exploring the intimate stories of real people seeking out their birth fathers, directed by Matt Kowalczuk. Here more about what he thought of our time in the studio together here.

Matt's Reflections: 

I am very happy to announce that the 1st phase of Finding Fathers R&D was a very successful experience. We spent one day exploring ways to develop choreographic movement to extract filmed interviews based on the themes of fatherless and masculinity in the 21st century, turning this into a contemporary dance piece/ film documentary.

I worked alongside the exceptional talents of Katie-Dale Everett (Choreographer), Gabby Sanders (Dancer) and YiAnn Kok (Assistant producer). We collaborated together and have created some content for us to explore these stories even further and deeper.

None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for the following help and support. Firstly thank you to our contributors (whose identity will remain anonymous as it is a sensitive subject), who have shared the stories of the relationships or their lack of; with their fathers and have given this project a rich abundance of storytelling that we can explore. I can definitely relate to their journeys and this has touched me deeply.

Secondly, I would like to thank Phakama who have been our funders for the R&D at this stage through the Phakama Artist Bursary. Thanks to Anna Glarin from Project Phakama for coming to Brighton and seeing our R&D. Also thank you to Phillip Edgerly@ Institute for Contemporary Theatre (ICT Brighton) for letting us have a space to explore these stories and to Jess Cheetham from Spunglass Theatre for her advice.

What's next?

I filmed what we created on the day. I will be in post-production over the next couple of weeks, editing what we created. I will share once completed. This will be used to secure further funding hopefully to scale things up, including adding more content by conducting more interviews around the country, working with two dancers instead of one, and creating a hybrid/poetic dance documentary and a theatre production.

Because my own story is still being explored as I don't know my father, I am on my own journey within this project. I'm currently doing some family research on my background; as there has been a lot of vague and conflicting stories that I got from my mother. I've ordered a DNA test and I will share the results once I have done the test.

Finally, we are always looking for people who would be willing to share their experience of fatherlessness. It doesn't matter what perspective you are coming from, but we would like to see this explored from a female perspective next time! If you are interested please PM and I will contact you.