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“GIVING IS THE NEW ROCK’N’ROLL”
Ok, giving isn’t the new rock’n’roll just yet, but it needs to be.
I wanted the film project of 'Playing The Moldovans At Tennis', to be all about giving. From the word go, I wanted all profits from the film to go to 'Playing The Moldovans At Tennis Film Fund' for the care centre for children with cerebral palsy in Chisinau, Moldova, (which was in turn started with the royalties from my book).
In order to do this, and for the film not to become embroiled in the commercial machinations of the complex world of film funding, and to keep the autonomy that would enable the profit to go to the care centre, I needed to fund the film myself. This I have done, from money that my accountant had recommended be set aside for my pension. However, having spent a good deal of time in Moldova, and seen the hardships that most of the people have to undergo, I know that the accident of my birth into a wealthy country like Britain has assured me a relatively comfortable ‘retirement’ even if those ‘pension’ funds will no longer be available to me. Besides, my story is about Moldova, so in a sense I’m taking from that country – it seems only fair that I should give back.
Furthermore, by funding the film myself I have been able to resist the pressure that film-makers are under to cast stars in their films. I know full well that my decision to use talented people who I like and who I want to work with (including a talented cast of brilliant unknown Moldovan actors) will make the film less commercial and harder to sell. I don’t care. The ‘star’ system is unhealthy, divisive, and fuels greed.
Then, of course, there’s the pressure that I would have come under to change the story. No doubt executives would have started to tell me to identify my ‘target audience’ and to make changes to the story in order to please that group. No thanks. I’m lucky enough to have a great story already, which needs no tinkering. It just needs to be told with integrity, and with love and care – and I believe that we have done that. It also happens to be a story with a good message to it.
So I hope you enjoy our film. It was made by myself and a talented group of young film-makers, all of whom were paid a decent wage, and whose input has been invaluable. Further to that, others have devoted time, enthusiasm and assistance free of charge, and to them I am hugely grateful.
I hope you get to enjoy this movie, be that in a cinema, DVD or by streaming. Take a look at the trailer.
And if you want to donate a pound, a dollar or a euro to my 'Playing The Moldovans At Tennis Film Fund' for the care centre for children with cerebral palsy in Chisinau, Moldova – then please click the donate button below.