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A film for "the summer our teens didn't get to have"

A film for

Sunday 18 October 2020

A film for "the summer our teens didn't get to have"

An independent filmmaker is bringing his award-winning coming-of-age drama to the Mallard this month, as part of a limited release to a select group of British cinemas.

Philophobia, the debut feature film from writer and director Guy Davies, is set and filmed in his old high school in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The tale of small-town adolescence depicts the love and loss of the last week of high school for Kai and his friends.

Mr Davies said the film is about "love, friendship, sex and that uncertain transition period in life before becoming an adult.”

But rest assured that this is not your typical high school drama; there is a darker element that one might not expect from the genre. The heightened emotions of young adulthood come alive in sinister and foreboding moments, some of which feel more like a thriller than a drama. After all, Philophobia is a fear of falling in love…

Philophobia really shows both sides of the coin,” said Mr Davies. “When It comes to being a teenager on the cusp of becoming an adult, in the last week of school, there are natural highs and lows born from that uncertainty,”


Pictured: Director Guy Davies hopes young adults will brave Covid to see his debut film, Philophobia, in cinemas later this month.

“There’s definitely dark and thrilling moments, but the film is just as much about love, and celebrates close friendships filled with the spirit of adolescence.”

Matt Cook, the film’s producer, hopes that a limited cinema release will capitalise on the critical acclaim it had found before cinemas started closing.

“From October 2019 right up to the pandemic shutting things down in March, we screened Philophobia to festival audiences who were consistently passionate in their response,” he said. “So, we were determined to give the film a proper cinema release in the UK.”

The film has won 12 awards so far, from international festivals such as the European Cinematography Awards, Louisianna’s Cinema on the Bayou, and the San Diego International Film Festival, where it won both the Best Global Cinema and Lite Coin Audience Choice Award.

“We are betting that young audiences in controlled numbers will turn out to see this film on the big screen, in spite of the threat of covid,” said production company Fablemaze co-founder Toby Cook.


Pictured: Philophobia is a coming-of-age story that promises to be funny, scary, dark and heartwarming all at once.

Mr Davies reckons that audiences will see the film in a different light after the experience of lockdown. “Philophobia is the summer that our teens didn’t to have this year: the last week of exams, partying, school pranks, last chances with your crush, reconciliation and solidifying friendship before school is done for good,” he said.

“Hopefully there can be some catharsis there for our youth who have unfortunately missed out on that chance of closure before taking that next step, but mainly I hope people enjoy the nostalgia that comes with it.”

“Many of us have had similar experiences at school, good and bad, and that relatable element is probably my favourite thing about the film because it draws you back to a unique time in your life.”

Philophabia stars Joshua Glenister, Kim Spearman, Harry Lloyd (Theory of Everything) and James Faulkner (Game of Thrones), and will be screening at the Mallard Cinema beginning 30 October.

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