Philophobia offers coming-of-age movie in Worthing screening

Independent film director Guy Davies offers a look at that all-important final week at school in a coming-of-age tale which gets a Worthing Dome Cinema screening starting on October 30.

PHILOPHOBIA - Director Guy Davies
PHILOPHOBIA - Director Guy Davies

Philophobia will be shown in more than 30 cinemas across the country – an opportunity which Guy wouldn’t have thought possible pre-pandemic.

“We didn’t necessarily have an original release date, but I was expecting it to come out April/May time.

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“This year has impacted on the film in ways that are actually quite difficult to gauge. It is hard to tell whether it has benefitted the film or hurt the film.

“But I know that it would not have got a cinema release without the studio movies pulling out.

“When I noticed that a lot of studio movies were pulling out a few weeks ago, I got in touch with local cinemas (in Gloucestershire) but actually there was more demand (further afield) than we could cope with as an independent team – in terms of the cost of getting the film to the cinemas, the cost of replication of the film, the posters and the marketing.”

Philophobia (which means ‘fear of falling in love’) is a picture of small-town adolescence. One week of high school remains for Kai, an aspiring writer, and his friends.

“How they choose to spend this time awakens sexual desires, costs one of them their life and leaves them all changed forever.”

The film was shot in Guy’s hometown of Stroud, featuring performances from Harry Lloyd (Theory of Everything, Game of Thrones) and James Faulkner (Game of Thrones) alongside a talented young cast.

“We even shot it in the school that I went to. I have been inadvertently location scouting for the film since I was 11 years old!

“It was an interesting experience going back. Quite a few of the teachers were still there.

“The film is an honest picture of adolescence about love, friendship, sex and that uncertain transition period in life before becoming an adult.

“Philophobia has had a great festival run, winning a dozen awards on the international circuit and will be releasing in several countries worldwide. It’s also a fully independent film, no government or grant money or studio backing.”

Philophobia was made possible by a dozen Stroud-based investors and spearheaded by production company Fablemaze.

“I made it when I was 25 with a grassroots fund-raising effort. Honestly I can’t believe that it’s come this far and been picked up for a cinema release.”

It was shot back in the summer of 2017: “We did it from June until September and I was nearly finished with editing the film at the end of 2017, but unfortunately my mum got sick with a terminal diagnosis.

“I stopped working on the film for maybe 14 months. I just parked the project.

“When I came back to the film, I found that it was not as finished as I had thought it was.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t resonate with me in the way I wanted. I don’t know whether it was because of time away or just life experience, but I wanted to re-edit it, change the things that just didn’t feel quite right.

“I went back into the editing for maybe another four or five months.

“And then really it was just money slowing us down.”

And then the pandemic…

“It will be in the cinemas for a week, and based on performance it will then continue or not.

“If people come and watch it will keep growing.”

And then there will be a digital release.

“Once you are in the cinemas, like chain cinemas, you have to observe a 16-week window. They have the option to keep playing it for up to 16 weeks. VOD (video on demand) will be in March/April next year.”

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