Category Archives: Reviews

Next To Her Review – The Unpaid Carers of the World


‘Gabby’ played by the award winning Dana Ivgy, portrays a 24 year old girl who suffers from a severe mental disability. She is taken care of by her sister ‘Chelli’, played by Liron Ben-Shlush who has dedicated her life to helping her sister. Coping with both her work and personal life, the two sisters live together in a dingy apartment, existing in an unhealthily symbiotic bubble where everything from toothbrushes to baths are shared.

A heartwarming yet emotional journey that questions human morality and the social/political systems which sometimes fails us. It came to my attention after viewing this film and doing some research that one in eight adults are now unpaid carers in the UK, this comes in the form of looking after a friend or family member who faces an illness, disability or frailty. It estimates to a staggering 6.5 million people who are pulled into a round-the-clock system of taking care of a loved one, which becomes a struggle in managing both their own personal and working lives, this will increase to 9 million by the year 2037.

The UK statistics show that most carers care for just one person (83%), but 14% care for two people and 3% are caring for at least three people. This breaks down to 58% of carers looking after someone with a physical disability, 20% look after someone with a sensory impairment, 13% care for someone with a mental health problem and 10% care for someone with dementia. These unpaid carers help save the government billions of pounds a year, which questions the politics of our health services and how this will continue to dramatically effect us over the coming years.


The two actresses deliver a naturalistic performance, that informs us on the relatable urgency of how far one is willing to go for the person they love and care about. It also leaves us questioning our own personal commitments, and whether one could face such a laborious task in caring for someone who suffers an extreme mental disability, alone with limited facilities. Where family, love and dedication seems to be the underlining themes of the film, a darkness also clouds the film during moments of mental instability on Chelli’s part, resulting in her own theories of “fixing” Gabby’s situation by having a brief melt-down. This level of mental health can effect a carer due to their exhaustion and the helplessness they can sometimes feel when faced with tasks that they are inexperienced with. While this is not to say that all unpaid carers in the world find it difficult caring for someone, and that money becomes an easy solution, but there are people out there who do need the help and support that can make things a lot easier.

Next To Her is based on Liron Ben-Shlush’s own experience of having a mentally disabled sister, yet what we also learn from the film is that not everyone is trained as a professional carer – and looking back at the immense number of carers in the UK, this becomes worrying in that sense. She is forced to use her own methods in certain situations, although this can lead to the building of inner frustrations from both the carer and the cared if not implemented properly. This is highlighted in the film when Chelli bribes Gabby into doing something by giving her pitta bread and coffee.

This repetitive lifestyle is interrupted when Chelli brings a man into the equation. At this point, we start to see a shift in Chelli’s behavior patterns. While spending all of her time and energy on her sister, she neglects her own self-importance, from the minutiae of daily life, like getting her eyebrows threaded to much larger necessities such as sexual intimacy. While Zohar (Chellis boyfriend) moves in and disrupts the fabric of their intimate existence, his involvement also becomes a breather for Chelli as she is faced with an extra pair of hands to help out.

Besides from being an artistic achievement from director Asaf Korman, the film takes you on a roller-coaster of emotions yet is an essential cultural and educational tool that informs the viewer about the struggles carers have to face. Whether it be in Israel, the UK or other parts of the world, Next To Her is a leading cinematic force that teaches us the importance of love and care and the everyday situations people have to face that we may not always be aware of.

The film will screen at Curzon Bloomsbury March 9th with a special Q+A with the director and actors. You can book tickets here:

To find out more about UK statistics and how to be involved in helping unpaid carers in the UK, go to:


The Treatment: The Crime Thriller They Didn’t Want You To See

We had such an exciting ride with THE TREATMENT. When four of us saw it in the market at the Cannes Film Festival last year, we just knew that we wanted it. It was gripping, exciting and proper edge of your seat drama. Since then we’ve had a real journey to bring it to the audience. Getting involved with Mo Hayder (the author of the original novel) and the publishers, who have been brilliant at pushing information about the film out to the fans of the Mo’s books. Continue reading

Rebel, rebel (girls on film)

A desire to resist authority, control, and convention, these are just some of the things that come to mind when thinking about rebellion. We’ve all at some point in our lives performed a rebellious act. Refusing an order from a parent, a teacher, or a working task. When we’re told what to do and when to do it, how to act, how to feel and how to look, at what point do these authorities become too much?

horses horses2

A young 16 year old, Alex is a high school dropout who is considered a failure due to her mixing with bad crowds, use of drugs and self-harm. Faced with hardships at a young age, her adoptive mother sends her to a Northern German farm to work with horses. Monika Treut, director of OF GIRLS AND HORSES (2015), presents a display of misbehavior that transcends into a journey of self-discovery and a portrayal of female bonding. A beautiful story that deals with the coming of age with girls and the soothing landscapes of the most Northern tip of Germany at the ocean near the Danish border. Be sure to check this film out!

With rebellion in mind, I thought I’d take a look at rebellious heroines and the theme of female bonding in a selection of my favorite films. Sarah Hentges, in her book, Pictures of Girlhood: Modern Female Adolescence on Film, says that most mainstream films about rebellion are, for the most part, set in the past…the rebellion in these films is usually directed toward parents or society, but in some cases this rebellion has a larger goal to dismantle the structures. These behavioral patterns are triggered in moments of restriction, this upsurge is pushed further if the rebel is in the process of exploring her sexuality.

Chinese Daughter Chinese Daughter 1

Love has no limits, especially when its up against the Chinese government. Set in the 1980’s in China, THE CHINESE BOTANIST’S DAUGHTER (2006) tells the story of a young orphan, Li Ming, who takes up an internship at a botanist’s garden and forms a sensual yet forbidden relationship with the daughter of the botanist, during a time when homosexuality was a punishable offence. The film is a beautiful story of two women who attempt to defy every rule of a totalitarian system, that in the end, love will always be the winning answer. No matter what your gender or sexual orientation is, the film brings a relatable urgency of how far one is willing to go for the person they love. The last few minutes of the film will no doubt leave you in tears.

SS1 savage

Back track to the 1980’s streets of Los Angeles, littered with fast cars, over-the-top fashion and a group of friends who hit the streets to the theme song of ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stand In Our Way’ by John Farnham. Linda Blair stars in SAVAGE STREETS (1984), an exploitation flick that explores independence against an authoritative society, and a young teenager who must take action into her own hands. After her handicapped sister is raped at school (shot in the Pacific Palisades, the same location as Brian De Palma’s CARRIE (1976) – another film dealing with rebellious teens), Brenda seeks out revenge in a revealing tight leather outfit and cross-bow. The film highlights different levels of female bonding from a girls night out, to sibling love. While the horses in OF GIRLS AND HORSES become the catalyst between the two girls, this female bonding is expressed in the beautiful transition in which Brenda’s sensitive side is revealed only through the love she has for her sister and girlfriends, to a quick mood change of fierce attitudes and the rejection of all order. One cannot forget a naked Linda Blair in a brawl in the showers of the school locker room – a must see!

heavenly heavenly1

A teen movie like no other, HEAVENLY CREATURES (1994) is based on a true story from 1954 of two best friends, Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker who form a close bond in which they both share every possible day with each other. Stuck in their own fantasy world, the concerned parents attempt to separate them. To ensure their everlasting connection, they both seek out revenge against their moralistic families. Before we all knew her as Rose from Titanic, Kate Winslet stars alongside Melanie Lynskey in this coming-of-age story; a real testament of teenage friendships and the worlds we invent to escape harsh reality. Sarah Hentges describes these girl genres as empowering in myriad ways, not only for girls and women, but for anyone who recognizes a lack of fit between mainstream expectations and reality. Rebellion in the form of murder, the girls met their tragic ending in a 5 year prison sentence, but the ultimate punishment was on the condition that the girls never see each other again.

45 45-1

The last film on my list breaks away from the coming-of-age genre of teen flicks. Similarly to SAVAGE STREETS, this film marks an important entry into the exploitation genre of rape revenge films which came about in the 1970s. Ms. 45 (1981) directed by Abel Ferrera, is a brutal portrayal of a young adolescent out for revenge after being savagely raped twice in the same day. Taking matters into her own hands, Thana, a mute seamstress, picks up a 45. caliber handgun and hits the streets on a killing spree. This transition from an innocent girl to a cold blooded killer is marked by the ritual process of applying red lipstick, slicking the hair back and dressing from head to toe in black, a common aesthetic in the films from this genre. While the social structures failed in moments of need, the female is then positioned in a negotiating state of unconscious decisions which consequence her final behaviors. Hentges further describes that the formal, institutional powers like school, family, religion and law make rules that girls are expected to follow, but the informal rules of adolescence that come from these structures also restrict girls’ behavior, social and sexual development.

From the coming-of-age teen films, exploitation genres to tragic teen love stories, this rebellious movement of bad-ass girls becomes a welcome departure from the typecast roles of stay at home wives and dutiful daughters, although these films deal with the breaking of structures in the form of death and murder, the beautiful moments of female bonding bridge an underlining message that women are capable of much more than being restricted to the confines of what society tells them. Looking back at OF GIRLS AND HORSES, the film is a good example of this transition of a troubled girl caught in the mix of abuse and lack of support to living on the German landscapes with horses as her form of escapism. This sudden shift of rebellion to the coming-of-age could only be achieved by the understanding of sexuality and the removal of societal expectations. In the words of Hentges: ‘hegemony does not have as tight a hold as it sometimes seems’.


Peccadillo’s Favourite Sundance Hits

“Sundance was started as a mechanism for the discovery of new voices and new talents” – Robert Redford

Even if you’ve never been to Sundance, but have been immersed in the chilling, and thought-provoking films that have come out of it, then you know what it stands for. You can discern its tastes, its independent, rough-around-the-edges sensibilities, and the fact that it’s actually not sunny but usually freezing cold. There’s that great episode of The Simpsons, where Lisa walks from screen to screen looking for a film to enjoy, but can only find films of heroin-addicted clowns slowly scratching their faces with needles. That’s Sundance.

In an industry that year-on-year seems to become even more polluted with inane blockbuster sequel-prequels-part-three of massive, sugary, cartoonish franchises, Sundance remains a rare beacon of hope for intelligent, socially observant and progressive film-making, shining defiantly in shivering Utah.

Two of our releases this year – Desiree Akhavan’s APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR and Sophie Hyde’s 52 TUESDAYS – are Sundance films. Desiree actually filmed the moment she told her mum she’d been accepted – which is well worth a watch. Here’s some of the festival’s biggest success stories – all with that irreverent, unmissable Sundance edge.


1. Blood Simple (1984)

Blood Simple copy

The Coen Brothers – regarded as the masters of Indie cinema – made their debut at the Sundance Film Festival with BLOOD SIMPLE. Their signature style of mixing comedic elements with a homage to the dark film noir genre surprised audiences and the Jury, which resulted in them winning the Grand Jury Prize and went on to gross around $4 million, not bad for a debut! Usually following a complex story which spirals into a cannon of lies, shock and laugh-out-loud moments, BLOOD SIMPLE looks at the story of a bar-owner out for revenge when he suspects his wife cheating on him. Like all Coen films, the film builds to an unforeseen and climatic ending! Be sure to also check out their cult classic FARGO (1996), and one of my favorites from the brothers: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007).


2. Run Lola Run (1998)

Run Lola Run

Breathless is the word to describe this film, literally! Watching Franke Potente run for her life in a race against time, she’s on a mission to obtain 100,000 Deutschmarks with an attempt to stop her boyfriend Manni from robbing a supermarket. The perfect fit for Sundance, with its edgy style of editing and pulsating rock soundtrack, the film is heavy in thematic explorations of free will and psychedelic trips into the unknown. With its unique mix of what ifs captured in a repetitious sequence of events, the film captures the very essence of an Independent Film Festival. You can imagine everyone running to see the film, hence the Audience Award won at the festival!

With a budget of DEM 3,500,000, the film went on to gross $8 million in the USA.


3. The Blair Witch Project (1999)


THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT became “the film to watch” before it had even hit Sundance! Directors, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez conducted a viral campaign in which they presented the film as a real documentary. Not being the first film to use found footage, the film is still regarded as one of the best hand-held camera horror films to date. The film mixes styles of amateur acting against believable footage it paved way for the many horror films which followed using these techniques. During Sundance, the filmmakers distributed flyers asking people to come forward with any information regarding the whereabouts of the “missing” students – talk about creating buzz!

The film became the success story of 1999, making $248 million worldwide. Not a bad return on a budget of an estimated $60,000!


 4Memento (2001)  


Before he became an A-list director of thinking-person’s blockbusters like the Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, director Christopher Nolan grabbed Hollywood’s attention with the ingenious thriller Memento – a story told in reverse about a man with a form of amnesia that prevented him from making any new memories.

It landed at Sundance 2001, where American distributors expressed admiration for the film but were reluctant to buy it, claiming it was too confusing. The film ended up being distributed by its studio, Newmarket Films, and went on to earn $40 million. It won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Awards, but ultimately lost the Grand Jury Prize to The Believer, – which introduced the world to Ryan Gosling.


 5. Saw (2004)


A lot can be said about the SAW franchise (not always positive), but we cannot forget director James Wan’s first SAW, as an entry into the serial killer, slasher genre. Using the tired mechanism of a masked clown serial killer, the film still holds as an intense gore infested story of survival, which pleased horror fans after every screening was sold out. It didn’t take long for Lionsgate at Sundance to pick it up before the film had even premiered. A smart move, the film went on to generate a cult following over the years and has made over $100 million worldwide, and six sequels followed. Unfortunately most of them fall into the Hollywood horror slush of pop-corn entertainment!


6. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


In a huge bidding war, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE resulted in Fox purchasing the rights to the film in one of the biggest deals made in the history of the festival of $10.5 million. After numerous standing ovations from the audience, the film went on to gross more than $100 million worldwide. A road movie based on a dysfunctional family, who are determined to take their youngest daughter  to compete in a beauty contest on the other side of the country – all inside a Volkswagen T2 Micro Bus. Its not difficult to be sweetened by Abigail Breslin’s performance of Olive. We can’t help but relate to the dysfunctional family and the feelings one gets when positioned in a place of “not-belonging”. It is a fresh take on a family, which seems to get ignored due to the numerous fluffy “perfect family” types constantly being pumped out by Hollywood. For that year, Little Miss Sunshine brought out the sun in a usually cold and dark Utah! Even though it didn’t win an award at Sundance, the film continued to bag countless awards including a pair of Oscars for writer Michael Arndt and actor Alan Arkin.


7. Man On Wire (2008)


One man, one wire, one goal! This intense and nerve-shredding film, captures an eerily, yet beautiful portrait of Philippe Petit’s attempt to walk on a wire from one tower of the World Trade Center to the other in 1974. While one can see why the audience were impressed and shocked at the same time, festivalgoers awarded the film both the Jury and Audience awards in the World Cinema Documentary category. The film plays like an action film, yet poised with a surreal touch of artistic achievement, traversing sky high without safety, an astounding stunt that would put some of Hollywood’s big action stars to shame!

The awards kept coming, as the film won the prestigious double-header of both BAFTA and Oscar and made a worldwide gross of $5,617,067.


8. Beasts Of The Southern Wild (2012)


Carried forth by non-actors and a real Louisiana community, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD became a success when the film won the Grand Jury Prize and the Excellence in Cinematography Award. Hushpuppy, a six year old girl part of the Bayou community in Louisiana, finds herself on a journey of poetic discovery, in which she must accept nature’s path and the unraveling mysteries of the universe. As the ice caps melt, and the water rises, she and the small town are faced with an army of pre-historic creatures named Aurochs. Beautifully shot in surreal like landscapes and the town known as Bathtub; the film starts of as a documentation of the struggles of a young orphan girl in a town in danger of being wiped out due to global-warming. The film then switches to an almost post-apocalyptic struggle of storms, rising waters and terrifying creatures. The film received four Oscar-nominations, including one for child star Quvenzhané Wallis, the youngest ever nominee in the Best Actress category – at just nine years of age.


9. Appropriate Behaviour (2014)


Our own, proud little piece of Sundance history is Desiree Akhavan’s understated and unequivocally brilliant APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR. A sleeper festival hit, but a slam with the UK critics and audiences, this upbeat but devastatingly realistic indie comedy is Sundance through and through and demonstrates how the festival – although many bemoan its pandering to the studios – maintains and upholds its original mission of nurturing new talent.

10. 52 Tuesdays (2014)


Sophie Hyde’s film won Best Director at Sundance, and will be in UK cinemas from us later this summer. 52 TUESDAYS explores the intimate story of a mother-daughter relationship, as Billie’s mother reveals plans towards gender transition. Filmed over the course of a year, once a week, every week – only on Tuesdays, shows a unique style in filmmaking that brings a rare authenticity to this emotionally charged story of desire, responsibility and transformation.

As the world is slowly moving in the right direction towards equality, it is films like this that offer a beautiful insight into a topic many are unaware of and highlight the positive change that is happening in the world. Look out for 52 TUESDAYS coming to cinemas later this summer!

Highlights of 2014 – Part One

In this first look back at 2014, we present the personal highlights from three members of staff, starting with our newest member Will Harwood.  Will originally came to Peccadillo as part of our Work Experience programme and somehow managed to get a full-time job:



“Having rescued me from the wasteland that is London For Graduates, I’ve never been more thankful for Peccadillo Pictures. I’ve always admired and respected the work done here and now to be on the inside of one of the most exciting ventures in UK film is, clichéd as it may seem, a dream come true. I’m so grateful to have gotten the chance to work on the brilliant EASTERN BOYS by Robin Campillo (and am still trying to steal a poster from the office…) and very much looking forward to learning more each day, and asking, pleading, begging Tom and Kahloon to take me to a film festival with them…

Here’s to the 2015: I hope you enjoy it as much as I’m going to. ”

Next up is Nicky Davidson from our Home Entertainment and technical dept:

Stranger by the Lake

Stranger By The Lake

“My highlight of this year is working on the incredible STRANGER BY THE LAKE. It was an honour to see the release of what has become not only one of my favourite films of this year, but of all time. And I am super excited about releasing Alain Guiraudie’s previous film, the hilarious countryside romp, KING OF ESCAPE in the new year.”

And Finally Ollie Charles our Communications Manager:

52 Tuesdays

52 Tuesdays

“It brings a great amount of joy and a big smile to my face when I think on the huge amount of films that we have released during 2014. For me, one of my highlights this year was working during the newly named BFI Flare; a wonderful celebration of LGBT cinema from around the world. Not only did we have a great selection of titles in the festival including 52 TUESDAYS, REACHING FOR THE MOON, WHO’S AFRAID OF VAGINA WOLF? and G.B.F. but it also is a great reminder of the fabulous LGBT film community around the world.

Whilst I mention it, releasing G.B.F. was another of my highlights for me as a publicist but also as a huge fan of the film. We welcomed director, Darren Stein and actor, Michael Willett to the UK for the festival where laughs were had all round (and even a slight controversial moment during the festival!). Over the summer we were delighted to welcome Diego Quemada-Diez, the incredibly talented director of THE GOLDEN DREAM. Recently highlighted by Mark Kermode as the best foreign language film of the year, it was so important that we work to release this film and tell audiences around the country about it. This film truly embodied the power of cinema and I am so glad others caught this urgent and essential film.

Michael-J-Willett from GBF

Michael J Willett from GBF

During the end of the summer, I was invited to Locarno Film Festival and take part in a group of juniors that worked in the film industry across the Europe. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet people but also showed to me who my future colleagues would be in this industry and made me realise, we are all working to secure a wonderful future for film.

The BFI London Film Festival was an incredible moment for me, especially working with Desiree Akhavan who came to London for the premiere of her hilarious comedy, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR. It was great to see so many press and audiences getting involved with the discussions around this film and I am proud to have witnessed the best Q&A during the entire festival this year!

Appropriate Behaviour

Appropriate Behaviour

In the last quarter of the year we released three films that remain as some of my favourite ever Peccadillo films. Within weeks of one another we released BOYS and THE WAY HE LOOKS, which are hugely important films to me, because they open discussions about young people and sexuality. They don’t assume homosexuality is an issue but instead follow characters that just are – it was a wonderful breath of fresh air to be able to bring these films to a younger audience, and hopefully allow these people to come out and learn to be comfortable with themselves from an earlier age.

Eastern Boys

Eastern Boys

Finally, my favourite thriller of the year was Robin Campillo’s EASTERN BOYS, which was an intelligent tale set in the outskirts of Paris, so rarely focused on in film. Robin came to London for the release and it was so wonderful to hear his tales. Looking forward we have a great slate of films for 2015 and I cannot wait to get started and bring more great filmmakers to audiences.”

Mark Kermode’s very best of 2014

Did you watch BBC Review 2014: The Year In Film?

We’re very proud that our exceptional film THE GOLDEN DREAM is Mark Kermode’s subtitled film of the year.

He went on to say: “The Golden Dream swept the board at Mexico’s 2014 Ariel Awards and is one of the very best films to be released the UK this year. If you missed it in cinemas make sure you take the time to catch it on DVD, it really is astonishing.“

ON DVD now

Diego Quemada-Díez directing the young actors during the making of THE GOLDEN DREAM

Diego Quemada-Díez directing the young actors during the making of THE GOLDEN DREAM