About the film
A sharp character-driven story that maps the fortunes of a young woman negotiating the tricky business of living in London, as she approaches her thirtieth birthday. Not only does Daphne's impending birthday induce anxiety, it also comes with a family party and associated questions about her life that she would really rather avoid.
So she sets out to shed her hedonistic excesses and the people she's outgrown. She starts to search for meaning in her chaotic life of casual sexual encounters, late drunken nights and early mornings in a dead end job.
Daphne Benenati, half Sicilian-full English, is a breath of fresh air. Sexually liberated, independently minded, self-centered, foul mouthed and deeply mistrustful of bullshit of all shades; she is not going to go quietly. As she whirls around a familial vortex of dashed hopes and hangups, lovers and loneliness, she is going down fighting and we are with her all the way.
From the director
Our aim with Daphne's Inferno is to create a female character led film that doesn't pull its punches; that is funny and emotional, and examines the sometimes challenging, increasingly expensive and occasionally exciting experience of life in South East London.
Daphne undercuts tragedy with humour. She says and does things that we would all love to but don't, for fear of the consequences. She is questioning but never judgemental. She won't be cowed either and refuses to trade in platitudes.
She suspects, however, that life has a meaning and purpose that is somehow eluding her, so we follow her in her journey to find out who she is and where she belongs.
The film strives to capture contemporary life in the capital for many people who may have experienced the wry and familiar vagaries of living, if not exactly on the edge, then pretty near it, and who prefer living to merely existing.
Meet the team
Director Peter Mackie Burns
Peter Mackie Burns directed Milk, which won the Golden Bear for Best Short film at the Berlin Film Festival in 2005 and played at over one hundred international film festivals. His following short Run was made with BBC, and starred Paprika Stein (Festen). He went on to collaborate with Skins and Glue writer Jack Thorne on the Coming Up short The Spastic King (with Ruth Sheen).
More recently Peter directed the intimate documentary Come Closer, about the private lives of a disparate group of characters who reside in the city of Glasgow. The film premiered at the London Open City Documentary Festival 2012. His latest short Happy Birthday To Me (2014) stars Emily Beecham, who is also attached to his debut feature.
Peter also contributed to a book of essays by writers including Will Self, Terence Hayes, Jackie Kay and others, published by Cargo Books in Autumn 2012.
Writer Nico Mensinga
Nico Mensinga wrote and co-produced the short film Watching (2010), directed by Max Myers and starring Ian Hart. The film was nominated for Best UK Short Film at Raindance and Best of British Encounters, before going on to screen at Palm Springs, LA Short Film Festival, and London Short Film Festival.
In 2011 Nico wrote the low budget feature Titus, starring the Obie award winning actor Ron Cephas Jones: the film screened at at Raindance 2013, and was in the official competition at Dinard British Film Festival 2013, where it won the Prix du Public Award. Titus was also nominated for two BIFA awards in 2013. Nico paired up with Max Myers again on the short The Birthday Gift, produced by Agile Films, which screened at London Short Film Festival among others, and won the Jury Award at Dam Short Film Festival. Nico's first collaboration with Peter Mackie Burns was on the short Happy Birthday To Me, which he wrote.
Producer Valentina Brazzini
After gaining experience in Italy of film festival programming, Valentina Brazzini joined The Bureau in 2006, initially working closely with producer Soledad Gatti-Pascual. Through her mentorship she took part in the postproduction of Glue and was assistant producer on Unmade Beds, both by Alexis Dos Santos.
While at The Bureau, Valentina stepped into various production roles on features including Far North by Asif Kapadia and London River by Rachid Bouchareb. She also worked on the first three editions of the Creative Skillset and Media funded development training programme SOS, aimed at emerging Writers and Producers, first as a programme manager and later as a director.
Valentina was a development executive on the short film programme Collabor8te, launched with Rankin and Dazed TV. She produced a number of shorts including: animation Save Our Bacon, directed by Peter Baynton; Another World,directed by Alexis Dos Santos and selected by Sundance and SXSW The Ringer directed by BAFTA and BIFA nominee Chris Shepherd, which screened at Encounters, BFI London Film Festival and Clermont Ferrand; and Between Places directed by Iain Finlay. In 2013 Valentina became Head of Development at The Bureau.
Watch Peter's award-winning short Milk.