Gary Sinyor, director of critically acclaimed The Unseen, has taken the unusual step of taking out an advertisement in this week’s Guardian newspaper asking Disney CEO Bob Iger to release one cinema screen in Central London so he can show his British film.
The Unseen, which stars Jasmine Hyde, Richard Flood and Simon Cotton, has been hailed as a gripping Hitchcock inspired thriller. It was made with a crew of just 8 and a budget of one thousandth that of the Disney juggernaut. It follows the story of a couple who lose their son in a tragic accident, only to then be haunted by his voice. The film has received amazing reviews yet the multiplexes and even the small independents only have eyes for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Understandably, with box office takings struggling each year, the film offers a big pay day at the end of the year to all involved but it doesn’t give audiences much choice about what to see and that’s frustrating for British film-makers.
“The new Star Wars film is going to be not just in every cinema complex but also nearly screen and for nearly every performance. Disney’s terms were so strict that American cinema chains threatened to boycott it. One small screen in Central London would have a negligible effect on them but means a huge amount to an independent British feature film. With such outstanding reviews for The Unseen a direct appeal to the head of Disney to release a screen was the obvious thing to do” says Gary.
Gemma (Jasmine Hyde) and Will (Richard Flood) are shattered when their son dies in an accident. Gemma blames herself and starts to have panic attacks that affect her eyesight – and the audience’s point of view. Will, tormented, believes he is hearing his son’s voice calling out to him. To escape their grief, Gemma suggests they take up Paul’s (Simon Cotton) offer to stay at his Lake District country getaway. Gemma, helped by ex-pharmacist Paul, tries to stop her panic attacks with medication. Will, unable to hear to his son in his bedroom back home, antagonizes Paul and suddenly goes home. Gemma is now reliant on Paul who appears to be developing genuine feelings for her welfare. Love, grief, and the frailty of the human condition are all brought to the fore as Gemma Will and Paul are caught up in a descent into violence, both psychological and ultimately physical.