The end of the 30 seconds spot? Often heard this statement in the beginning of the digital era we live in. It’s true. In our niche the spots become longer and longer. It’s one of the blessings of the time we live in.
That was I thinking about when seeing this impressive short film about homelessness from the UK.
The short film is called The Truth About Stanley. The film tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an old Congolese man and a young runaway, living rough on the streets. It is a story about friendship, loss, and the way in which we choose to deal with personal trauma.
It is a thing about I think about often. Why are we as we are?
This story is a great statement from a social marketing point of view. Especially for those viewers who have a successful life, who have it all. And they are an important part of the target audience. Because it’s a fundraising campaign for the The Truth About Stanley fund. They raise money for social enterprise The Big Issue Foundation and homeless charity Anchor House.
Lucy Tcherniak, director of The Truth About Stanley: “My interest in homelessness grew last year after I directed a viral film about a homeless man. My co-writer Neil and I started discussing what happens when a homeless person dies when sleeping rough. And then the story came from there. It’s still a question very few people know how to answer.
We started thinking about all the ways people end up homeless, and all the things these people lose along with that. No matter what a person loses – their house, their belongings, their family, even their sight – a person’s imagination is their own to keep. It’s possibly the only thing that can’t be taken away. And for Stanley that’s what gets him through.
The aim is to tell a story in which the characters are homeless but above all they are people, no different from you or me. If the audience can relate to and empathise with these people our hope is that it might strike a deeper chord in them that changes the way they view homeless people.”
The whole project was done on a shoestring budget, no-one got paid and they managed to get Radiohead and Mumford and Sons to let them use tracks on it for free because they liked it so much.
Starring Oliver Litondo, Raif Clarke and Andrew Lee Potts. Produced by Tom Clark. Soundtrack by Radiohead and Mumford & Sons. A WSP Production in association with Trademark Films and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
More about the project at the The Truth About Stanley website