The Silent Accomplice

Fiction: 74 minutes. 2010. Silent Moments touched by water.

Set in rural and urban Britain, The Silent Accomplice is a story seen through the perspective of water that flows from a spring to the sea. This ever-present silent protagonist engages with people in often intimate moments in their lives, giving us an unusual and intimate snap shot of contemporary living. Episodic and peripatetic in construction, and poetically blending fiction and documentary, the narrative weaves its way in and out of specific people’s lives to reveal a Britain with hidden and unspoken disparities and aspirations.

Using simple and ritch visual and aural imagery, The Silent Accomplice embraces the notion of silence to drive a narrative that creates an unusual experiential journey. From the sublime to the mundane, the peaceful to the violent, we are presented with a view of contemporary British life not commonly seen.

The film was shot over a period of months with a very small, documentary sized, team shooting ‘dogme’-like in settings and locations across rural and urban northern Britain. The cast consists of ‘real’ people playing themselves in a fictionalised story, often in their own living and working situations without working to a written script. One of the exciting things about this project was the contributions made by the cast and the way we worked with them.

As the project progressed, we continually made available short profile interviews of selected cast members, which you can watch right here:

Erik Knudsen Interview

ERIK KNUDSEN, The writer and director, Erik Knudsen, is interviewed by Duncan Thomas about the making of the feature film, The Silent Accomplice. He also talks about independent filmmaking, poverty and film and his aspirations for how he hopes audiences will engage with The Silent Accomplice.

Naveed Choudhry Interview

NAVEED CHOUDHRY, a City Youth in the film Naveed Choudhry is a young actor with determined ambitions. He has already had a number of TV roles and trained with Manchester’s Contact Theatre’s youth theatre group. In The Silent Accomplice, he is playing the part of a youth who may be getting into serious trouble. Here he talks about his role in the film and his ambitions for the future.

Catherine Powter Interview

CATHERINE POWTER, the Photographer in the film Catherine Powter is a photographer and lecturer. She has exhibited extensively and now also teaches photography at Halifax College, West Yorkshire. In The Silent Accomplice, she is playing the part of a photographer. Here she talks about her involvement with the film and how one of her photographic projects has been incorporated.

Daniel Bath Interview

DANIEL BATH, Flower Man in the film and the film’s composer Daniel Bath is a composer and musician, who has composed music for one of Erik Knudsen’s earlier films, Sea of Madness. His compositions and arrangements include work for choirs and opera. In The Silent Accomplice, he an acting as well as composing the music for the film. Here he talks about his dual involvement with the film.

Brendan Hargreaves Interview

BRENDAN HARGREAVES, Water Leakage Inspector in the film Brendan Hargreaves works for SES Utilities, a small specialised company that identifies water leaks. They use a range of techniques to identify water pipes and leaks, ranging from high tech listening devices, to simple wooden listening rods and devining rods. Here he talks about his work and his in role in the film.

Sally and Rachael Routledge Interview

SALLY and RACHAEL ROUTLEDGE, Young Girl and Young Girl’s Mother in the film Sally lives with her parents, Andrew and Rachael, in West Yorkshire, where she attends primary school. Having never acted before for film, she took to performing in front of the camera with ease. Listen to what she has to say about the experience.

Alberta Darcy Ofei Interview

ALBERTA DARCY OFEI, Cleaning Woman in the film Alberta Ofei is a Ghanaian living in the UK. She trained as a nurse and worked in New York for a number of years before marrying and returning, first to France, then the UK. She has two young children and, like many others in this film, this is her first experience of acting.

Danielle Williams and Tara Lofthouse Interview

DANIELLE WILLIAMS and TARA LOFTHOUSE, Office Workers in the film Tara Lofthouse is an actor, choreographer and dancer while Danielle Williams is an actor and singer. They play office workers in the film and are friends on and off screen. Here they talk about their profession and about how they have found working on this film different to their usual experience.

John Tattersall Interview

JOHN TATTERSALL, a Business Man in the film John Tattersall is a retired nurse with a long standing involvement with the Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society. In The Silent Accomplice, he plays the part of a Business Man. Here he talks about his role in the film.

Denny Beddows Interview

DENNY BEDDOWS, Drainage Worker in the film  Denny works for Balfour Beatty with a small team of people who deal with drainage and sewage emergencies, and maintenance. Here he talks about the kind of work he does, the challenges and perceptions of his line of work and about his role in the film, The Silent Accomplice.

William and Joanne Mawdsley Interview

WILLIAM and JOANNE MAWDSLEY, Harbour Boy and Harbour Boy’s Mother in film Joanne Mawdsley is a disability campaigner and the founder of Rainbow House and The Legacy, both centres dedicated to the innovative care of children with disabilities. She and her son, William, talk here about themselves and their involvement with the film, The Silent Accomplice.

Georgia Peavoy Interview

GEORGIA PEAVOY, The Mirror Girl in the film Georgia is a pupil at the North Halifax Grammer School in West Yorkshire in the UK and is interested in theatre and film. She plays the part of the Mirror Girl, a young girl with a mysterious interest in reflections of herself.

Alan and Justine Sutcliffe Interview

ALAN and JUSTINE SUTCLIFFE, Farmer and Farmer’s Wife in the film Alan and Justine run Pextenement Farm in West Yorkshire, UK, where they manage an organic dairy herd of cows from which they produce organic milk and cheese. Justine is a teacher, while Alan runs the farm. They talk here about farming and their involvement with the film, The Silent Accomplice.

Sean Baxter Interview

SEAN BAXTER, The Fisherman in the film Sean Baxter is a fisherman who works in Staithes, on the north east coast of England. Out of season, he works in various parts of the world as a fisheries consultant. Here Sean talks about fishing and his involvement with the film, The Silent Accomplice.

Ben Crowther Interview

BEN CROWTHER, The Water Inspector in the film Ben Crowther is an Environment Health Officer for Calderdale Council, Yorkshire, UK, where he works extensively with water quality. In the film, he plays this role and talks about this in his interview.