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Doorways to premiere at Leeds Film Festival 2017
By James Whittington, Thursday 12th October 2017

A macabre drama which depicts the psychological paranoia of being homeless will have its world premiere at this year's Leeds Film Festival.

Doorways - written and co-produced by comic-book writer Ed Murphy, follows a newly-evicted young girl who hooks up with a down-and-out veteran who believes his street colleagues are being abducted from the city's sidewalks by a hostile entity. The short film was shot on location in Manchester's Northern Quarter and Murphy wanted to capture the style and feel of renowned British directors Ken Loach and Alan Clarke in his depiction of the homeless community.

"I really wanted a cinematic look which was direct, straight-forward, honest and wasn't too contrived as a drama", admitted Ed, who is also associate producer of Malevolent, the animated horror film which features the voices of William Shatner and Morena Baccarin. "I had originally been pitched Doorways as a feature-length project by a friend, and I felt there was a section with this bigger story which was truly nightmarish, and for weeks after reading it, I just couldn't get this idea out of my head. I believe the growing homeless problem in this country, and in every part of the world for that matter, is getting out of hand. I didn't want to exploit that in this story. I just wanted to try and illustrate that community and underline the kind of horror they have to face on a day-to-day basis."

Murphy teamed up with Manchester film-maker Vortre (Trey) Williams, who had previously worked as an actor on Ken Loach's 2010 drama, Route Irish. "Trey definitely understood how to find naturalistic performances", said Murphy, "and this was key to kind of story I wanted to tell here. He also had a great knowledge of the locations - and we shot extensively in many areas of the city which really haven't been captured on film in this way."

The story is brought to life by two Manchester performers - Katie Marie-Carter and Danny Sheppard - who create a great rapport as Jack and Chris within the short running time. Both performers interacted within the homeless community of the city's Northern Quarter during filming.

"It's definitely something I can now see developed as a feature film", added Murphy. "The emotional resonance between Katie and Dan is fascinating. They are great performers and I think they add some real humanity to these tragic figures. They really give the story an emotional core. I wanted the audience to view the story from the perspective of being homeless themselves. Where we were filming in Manchester, that community were all around us. We didn't want to be complacent in any way while depicting their hardships. And I hope we reflect that to the audience who watch the film. I'm really excited about its premiere at the Leeds Film Festival."

Doorways will screen alongside Habit at the Leeds Everyman Cinema on Wednesday, November 15th and Thursday, November 16th.


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