Touching Short Film “Stillness” Wins Accolades Across Festivals

Caitlin FitzGerald as ‘Rose’

“Stillness”: A Cinematic Symphony of Compassion and Resilience Unveiled by Director Rachel Fowler and an Exceptional Cast and Crew

Grief is transformative. It changes us, moulds us into something new, takes intention, reflection and being present to fully appreciate metamorphosis, and to accept it, welcome it, turn towards it.”

— Rachel Fowler

LONDON, LONDON, UK, December 26, 2023 / — “Stillness,” a poignant short film directed by Rachel Fowler, has emerged as a standout in the film festival circuit, accumulating an impressive array of awards and accolades. This deeply moving narrative navigates themes of grief, stillbirth, and the transformative act of holding space for those in pain.

With a notable 10 awards, including Best Narrative Short at Middlebury New Filmmaker Festival, Best Drama Short at Swindon Film Festival, and an Indie Spirit Award at Idyllwild Film Festival, “Stillness” has struck a chord with audiences worldwide, capturing hearts with its sensitive exploration of loss and the innate capacity for empathy.

In a heartfelt director’s statement, Fowler shared the personal inspiration behind “Stillness.” The tragic death of her thirteen-year-old nephew due to a drug overdose on the same day as her daughter’s ninth birthday in 2016 prompted a period of deep introspection. Seeking to navigate the complex emotions surrounding joy and pain, Fowler turned to writing. Fowler, also a grief and loss coach, found solace in creativity during a period centred on grief.

In Fowler’s words: “Grief is transformative. It changes us, moulds us into something new. It takes intention and reflection and being present to fully appreciate the metamorphosis, and to accept it, welcome it, turn towards it.”

The film draws inspiration from a powerful photograph taken by Fowler’s mother, capturing the raw emotion of a grieving mother after the stillbirth of her son. “Stillness” revolves around a photographer, portrayed by Caitlin FitzGerald, who, driven by her own history with loss, offers her time and talent to a couple experiencing a stillbirth. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is an organsation/charity that has an army of volunteer photographers who do exactly what Rose does in Stillness. Fowler became an assistant to a photographer and went on several sessions herself. She mentioned that ‘The experience revealed an astounding amount of love and sorrow in each room.’ The narrative delves into the delicate yet transformative act of holding space for others in their darkest moments. Additionally, Flexmort, creators of the Cuddle Cot, played a pivotal role in the production of “Stillness.” Their innovative bassinet, equipped with a cooling system, extends the time families can spend with their babies to up to three days. Generously lent to the film, the Cuddle Cot from Flexmort became a poignant element.

With upcoming screenings at the Soho International Film Festival in London and the Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival in Sarasota, FL, “Stillness” continues to captivate audiences on the festival circuit, bringing its total to an impressive 27 festivals.

Rachel Fowler expresses her hope that “Stillness” sparks meaningful conversations about grief, stillbirth, and the vital importance of supporting one another. The director emphasises the healing power of the filmmaking process, both as a personal catharsis and to encourage broader dialogues about these challenging topics.

The film features a stellar cast, including Caitlin FitzGerald as Rose, Paul Reid as Tom, Lucy Sheen as Susan, Rhea Bailey as Olivia, and Sule Rimi as Isaac. Each actor delivers a poignant and nuanced performance, bringing a moving performance to the film.

The production crew, including Eve M. Cohen’s cinematography, Fabrizio Gammardella’s editing, sound design by Fred Pearson, Art Director Simon Pickup, Costume Designer Arianna Dal Cero, composer Jered Sorkin, and the contributions of the entire crew brought Fowler’s vision to the screen with exceptional skill and artistry.

“Stillness” stands as a collaborative effort that beautifully translates a heartfelt vision into a cinematic masterpiece, touching audiences and sparking meaningful conversations about grief, stillbirth, and the importance of holding space for one another.

This film stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the potential for art to facilitate healing and understanding. For a glimpse into the emotional depth and cinematic brilliance that has earned the film global acclaim, the trailer can be viewed on Vimeo here.

Rachel Fowler
Rachel Fowler Filmmaker
[email protected]

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