Creative connections that transform

2014-15 slate

The Opposite of Everything

About the film

The Opposite of Everything is a black comedy about Emily, a wry, guarded 21-year-old, who, following a stint in a mental institution, returns to her remote, dull seaside hometown where she vows to commit suicide in two weeks – one year after her father's disappearance.

Isolated and irritated by her baking-obsessed mother, Emily is begrudgingly sent to group therapy alongside several of the village's dysfunctional inhabitants. There she meets Peter, a peculiar, frenetic black teenager who disrupts the sessions with outbursts about his imaginary friend Alan. Both outsiders, Emily and Peter begin to bond.

Events turn sour after Emily uncovers the truth about her father's disappearance, pushing her to the edge of her sanity. Will she find the courage to reconnect with the world, or keep her promise and escape everything?

From the director

This story treads the fine line between tragedy and comedy – as it is often in the bleakest scenario that our impulse to laugh emerges. Humour is a compelling storytelling device that encourages audience engagement with complex themes like suicide and mental illness.

Our intention is to make Emily's circumstances so difficult, to surround her life with so much heartbreak and defeat, that just when she thinks it can't get any worse – it does. It is often when faced with such adversity that one can discover and tap unexpected strengths.

This feature aims to capture something of the poetry, eccentricity and charm in everyday life and relationships. Enhancing the breathtaking quality of the film's expansive visual landscape, Emily's sense of detachment will be achieved through the framing and starkness contrasted by a warm colour palette, to compliment the emotive and comedic nature of our story.

 


Meet the team

Nour Wazzi, Ruth Pickett and Stephen Smith – the team behind The Opposite of Everything

Director Nour Wazzi

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In 2008 award-winning Producer/Director Nour Wazzi set up Panacea Productions to bring distinctive, compelling and thought-provoking films to a wide audience. She recently completed The Company's Man shortlisted at the 48hr Sci-Fi Challenge. Her previous short Up on the Roof starred Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Michael Matias (The Bodyguard musical) and Earl Cameron (Inception) and was backed by Film London. It premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and won Best Film at Naoussa International Film Festival.

Nour directed the award-winning psychological thriller Shackled, starring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), and later was commissioned to direct a music video for EMI-backed musician Ben Montague.

Nour also made the Film London-backed, award-winning short Habibti with Hiam Abbass (The Visitor), Jimmy Akingbola (Rev) and Yasmine Almassri (Caramel). Based on a story by Oscar nominee Ari Folman, it received its broadcast premiere on BBC Arabic in August 2012. Nour is currently developing a slate of genre content with a number of talented screenwriters including Lucy Shuttleworth (The Secret of Moonacre) and BAFTA-winning Screen Star of Tomorrow Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan (Run).

 

Writer Ruth Pickett

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Ruth began her writing career as part of the Cambridge Footlights, with whom she wrote and performed regularly, including writing and composing a full length musical, Alice in Wonderland, and a National Tour show, Today of all Days, directed by Paul King (The Mighty Boosh, Come Fly With Me). Her online series Printfriends was nominated for an International Emmy Award for Best Digital Fiction. She currently has a comedy drama series, A Woman's Place and a number of full length plays in development.

She also has a strong interest in tragedy, theatre and classical drama and in 2011 was chosen by the Old Vic Theatre, as one of only 7 of the UK's best up-and-coming writers, to take part in the prestigious T.S. Eliot UK / US Exchange, for which she wrote a short play, A Handful of Dust, that was produced at the Vineyard Theatre, Manhattan.

She also wrote and performed a solo Edinburgh show, An Endless Series of Distractions.

 

Producer Stephen Smith

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Stephen gained entry into the film industry in 2004, initially as an actor, moving into production in 2010. In 2013 he set up Smith & Werber as a vehicle to continually produce high quality innovative content.

Films worked on include: Winter Sun (Dir. Paul Jibson), starring Scarlett Alice Johnson (Adulthood) and David Ajala (Jupiter Ascending); Picnic in Gaza directed by Philippe Khazarian and starring Elisa Lasowksi (Somerstown); Chop Chop directed by Christopher Granier Deferre; and Fumes directed by Tom Werber.

Stephen has also produced high-end music videos for the likes of Mercury Prize nominated band Villagers (Domino Records). Most recently he produced a Sci-Fi London 2014 shortlisted film, The Company's Man (Dir. Nour Wazzi). Stephen currently has a number of shorts, features and documentaries in different stages of development and is focused solely on producing quality, independent storytelling.

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