Mike Forshaw (an independent filmmaker from Liverpool) is currently working on a short film about the Hillsborough disaster. Here is the synopsis below.
April 15th 1989. Liam has no idea that one football match is about to change his life and the city of Liverpool forever.
LIAM returns home bloody-nosed from a football match that has got out of control and encounters a scene of parental distress. His Dad (CARL) has been crying, while his Mum (MARIE) is white with shock and anxious to embrace him.
The narrative returns to the beginning of that day, as LIAM makes a mess of the kitchen and watches Saturday morning cartoons. His older brother (MARK) searches for his Liverpool shirt, while his friends wait in a car to take him to the FA Cup Semi-Final match in Sheffield. MARK’s search is in vain.
LIAM has secretly hidden the shirt, planning to wear it down to the local marina for a game of football with his own mates. As news of the Hillsborough stadium disaster filters through to his parents, LIAM is accidently hurt whilst scoring a goal. His mates “pile on” top of him in celebration, trapping LIAM beneath them. Blood spills from his nose, on to his brother’s shirt. The resulting heap of bodies parallels the fatal crush MARK is experiencing at the stadium…
By setting this short away from the scene of the disaster, and focusing on the immediate impact on families back home in Liverpool, I hope to approach this emotive issue from a fresh perspective. The script focuses on a simple narrative journey, so that as the story builds the audience can grasp the metaphorical parallels between the family’s experiences in Liverpool and the avoidable horror that occurred in the stadium.
My vision for the aesthetic is inspired by British poetic realism, specifically the visceral work of Steve McQueen. The cinematography will be inflected and interpretative throughout, and include flights of surrealism to signal that this is a symbolic exploration of the impact of Hillsborough rather than a direct factual representation.
Hillsborough was the biggest sporting disaster in British history and through the subsequent trials and negative media coverage, the event has left a lasting legacy on Merseyside, at first damaging and now strengthening. With SATURDAY I hope to construct a compelling and evocative short that seeks to offer a timely reminder of the tragedy to audiences outside of Liverpool.
Here is the email I received from Mike :
‘I am an independent filmmaker from Liverpool that is trying to make a 15-minute short about the Hillsborough stadium disaster. This film is called SATURDAYand was recently selected to participate in the prestigious Nisi Masa European Script Pitch 2013 where it was awarded one of the top 3 prizes.
‘Hillsborough was the defining moment of our generation – everyone remembers where they were that day, and SATURDAY is loosely based on my own memory.
‘The film is a symbolic dramatisation of how the Hillsborough stadium disaster unfolded for one family back home in Liverpool – as seen through the eyes of LIAM, my 8yr old protagonist, whose older brother MARK is at the match.
‘Although the loss of life at Hillsborough has been well documented, people often overlook the 24,000 families watching the horror unfold on TV back home. By setting this short away from the scene of the disaster and focusing on the immediate impact on families back home in Liverpool, I hope to approach this emotive issue from a fresh perspective.
‘After the government slashed public funding, it is increasingly hard to get ambitious independent productions off the ground. However we hope to find financial support through a community of passionate supporters who understand the importance of this story and want to help to bring it to a wider audience.
‘You can find all the information about project here:
‘Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects; a crowd-sourcing website that allows the general public to fund exciting ideas that would otherwise be overlooked.
‘We are asking people to donate small sums to our project in return for film related rewards, for example their name on the credits, or tickets to the premiere. If we get enough people to chip in, we will reach our goal and make our film. And the real benefit of Kickstarter is that by generating an audience at the funding stage, we will have a dedicated following of fans when the film comes out in time for the 25th anniversary next April.