Town director’s film to premiere in Hailsham

Hailsham Pavilion
Hailsham Pavilion

She changed her career from high flying lawyer to vintage jewellery shop owner.

Now Fiona H Joyce, who lives near Hailsham, has changed her career again - this time to writer and film director.

Fiona’s new film Bonfire Hearts, which was made in Sussex, will be premiering at Hailsham Pavilion on April 24. Fiona said: “The film is 35 minutes long and is about a group of teenagers at a private boarding school set in the 1980s, two of whom run away together. The film tackles issues such as domestic violence, teenage drinking and the role of women and is fairly topical in today’s social climate.”

Fiona wrote and directed the film which is produced by Heavy Horse Pictures.

The story follows Piers who is desperate to escape from his boarding school and his domineering headmaster father who has arranged an interview for him at Cambridge University. He can’t face that or tell his father that he is about to fail all his exams. Piers hatches a plan to get away with the help of two people - his girlfriend Krystal and Daniel the boy on the scholarship.

Fiona was researching some material on a documentary when she came across a story about two pupils who had run away from their prestigious private school to the Caribbean. She thought it would be interesting to twist the story around and give it a different ending.

The film has also been entered into the Cannes Film Festival.

Fiona has also written a new screenplay and the film The Beautiful Game which is currently in preproduction.

Fiona added: “I also have a major new feature film in production with a big budget and star names attached set in World War One, the 1980s and dealing with war, football violence and suffragettes - it packs a punch. I am also writing a book about it.”

For more information about Bonfire Hearts visit