AN INDEPENDENT FILM
Shielding Sheila is a short/feature film lasting 44 minutes and 59 seconds; written and directed by Joyce Grey-Carter who portrays the role of Sheila in the film.
Sheila is a married woman who is shielding due to having an underlying health condition that gradually begins to impact on her mental health as well as her relationship with her husband Michael, causing great disharmony both on an emotional and physical level.
‘Stuck between a rock and a hard place’, she finds herself struggling to maintain a normal existence as a result of being forced to shield. Engulfed in personal tragedy, she becomes overwhelmingly possessed by her raging, internal, demonic sickness, coupled with the uncontrollable, external forces triggered by the Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions. In order to not risk losing her husband, and her own ‘affected’ sanity and wellness, she resorts to taking matters into her own hands irrespective of the Covid restrictions that attempts to ‘steal her life from her’. She holds onto the hope of ‘faith’ as a cure for all her ills.
JOYCE GREY-CARTER: WRITER AND DIRECTORS’ STORY
From the Inception to the Birth of Shielding Sheila
Initially, when I had begun to write Shielding Sheila, I had just completed three weeks of radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer at Bart’s Hospital in London at the start of the first Covid-19 Lockdown in March 2020.
‘Shielding Sheila’, which had a working title at the time of ‘I Will Survive’, was based on my own repressed fears as a Cancer patient, written in July 2020 as a means to updating and contributing to my existing Actors’ show reel. I of course would play the lead female role of Sheila.
I called upon Richard Bobb-Semple, whom I had worked with before, on another short film in March 2020, called ‘Moment of Truth’, written by Peter Rose and had asked Richard if he would like to play the role of Sheila’s husband, Michael. I then informed him that he could use the film clip to add to his own show reel. He was a little reluctant at first to take on the role, because of the theme of domestic violence and what it would involve with regards to the character’s portrayal; but he, with a little coaxing, had agreed to play the role.
As I completed the writing of Shielding Sheila for our show reels, I had felt a burning desire and need to make the story more than just a show reel piece; so, I continued to write and make more of it, to the extent to which eventually, it evolved into what it has now become, a short/feature film ready for submission to the various film festivals 2022/2023.
The Actors, cast by me for the roles within the film, were people who I had worked with before over the years stemming from the early 1990s to the present and I had cast them for that reason, (all but one, Abayomi Oniyide who had played a character, as did I, in a film called “The Last Breath” by Anthony Cox) for the characters I had had in mind. I had based the character roles on the characteristics of some of the Actors and people who I had known, from my past.
The film began shooting near the end of July 2020 and its filming location took place at our home because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Filming took place on a weekly basis, on Saturday’s, over a period of 6/7 weeks and was
completed at the end of September 2020.
Clive Grey-Carter, my husband, took on a one-man-crew role of Cameraman, DOP, Lighting, Sound and Post Production Editor. Post Production took place on a part-time basis, in collaboration with me, whilst working our full-time jobs. As a result, the post production editing took over a year and a half to complete on the 3 rd September 2022.
As I required original music/scores and songs, to accompany my story for Shielding Sheila, I decided to call upon my friend Gerry aka Calogero ‘Gerry’ Paci, in September of 2020 to compose and produce the music for the film. We were able to work and exchange ideas over our mobile phones, for the music and song production using text and WhatsApp messages, emails, voicemails, Video chats, Zoom meetings and Google meet, for a period of a year and a half. That being said, Gerry’s, residing in Valencia, Spain, and working as a full-time Music Teacher, did not present any barriers to our working programme.
As I wouldn’t call myself a great singer, I had booked a couple of zoom meetings with Esi Acquaah-Harrison, a renowned Singer and Voice Coach to help me work on the “Have Faith” song melody, one of the songs I had written and sing in the film. Gerry, also had worked with me on the “New Beginnings” song which you hear at the end of the film, as well as the song, “Inside of Me”, which expresses Sheila’s feelings about the sickness she has inside of her; that song I had also written and sing in the film. Singing in tune, is not a natural forte of mine but with work and a lot of practise, I eventually get there in the end.
Both my husband and I have lived and breathed the making of Shielding Sheila from its inception to birth. The production of Shielding Sheila has been a labour of love and passion for us both. At times, it had been difficult too as the whole production was taken on by ourselves and funded from our own pockets. I was however, fortunate to be awarded a grant of £500 by Creative Debut's Black Artist Grant, through Kanaiza Art Gallery also.
The Cast were fabulous to work with and were able to follow my directions well. Also, they were all able to work together well as an ensemble and we had developed a very special relationship as a result. I am so glad that we managed to get Shielding Sheila to the stage of festival
submissions and we look forward to seeing Shielding Sheila take its place on the film festivals stages I have submitted it to.
Joyce Grey-Carter: Writer and Director of Shielding Sheila.
Shielding Sheila Trailer
MEET THE CAST AND CREW
Photos and Biographies
Character Role: Sheila
Joyce Grey-Carter is an Actress and Voiceover Artist, born and living in London UK, of Jamaican parentage.
Joyce trained as an Actress in the 1980s at Mountview Theatre School in North London and then went on to complete a BA Honours degree in Performance Arts at Middlesex Polytechnic in the mid-1980s. Joyce trained as a Drama Teacher at Goldsmith College University in 1990, and graduated as a Teacher. Joyce then went on to teach Drama, literacy and numeracy in Secondary Mainstream and Special Education Schools in London, for a period of 28 years. Joyce also has a Master’s Degree in Education.
After leaving the Teaching profession at the end of 2017, Joyce returned to working as a professional Actor and alongside that, embarked upon a new professional career as a Voiceover Artist in 2018 to date. She has also turned her hand to writing Screenplays as well as Directing.
Joyce’s main ambition is to continue being artistic in every way possible, through acting, voiceover and the writing of screenplays as well as directing; in order to give herself and others opportunities to work as Creatives.
Role: One man film crew
Clive Grey-Carter is married to Joyce Grey-Carter and was born in Enfield, London UK, of English parentage. Clive, a man of many talents and skills, worked as a professional Landscape Gardener for over a decade. He has also worked in various Builders Merchants for the past 13 years and is a self-taught Carpenter. Clive’s current day job is working as an E-Commerce Trade Executive for an independent Builders Merchant.
Clive is also an Artist and enjoys drawing in his spare time. He is also a first-time filmmaker and gained a First Class BA Honours Degree in Digital Media Production at the London College of Printing (now University of the Arts London), in the late 1990s.
His Degree provided him with the necessary skills and foundation in which to work on the Shielding Sheila production. Clive worked as the Cameraman, Director of Production, as well as the Lighting and Sound Operator and Post Production Editor for Shielding Sheila.
Character Role: Michael
After a lengthy Sabbatical of 30 years from the Creative Arts, Richard Bobb-Semple who plays the role of Michael in Shielding Sheila, has been acting professionally now since 2017.
Having done most of his early work on the fringe circuit, he has now turned his attention to the screen.
His most recent work, the TV movie 'Caribbean Summer' has been streaming on The Hallmark Channel.
Character Role: Sonny
Rene Manradge is a British born conflict resolution specialist working in a freelance capacity across a variety of sectors from charities to corporate institutions.
He is an emerging artist specialising in portraiture and an occasional actor.
ANGIE AMRA ANDERSON
Character Role: Faith
Choreographer, Percussionist, Tutor, Lecturer, African Arts Consultant Angie Amra Anderson has contributed to the research and development of African/Caribbean arts since 1974. Her feeling for the African and Caribbean performing arts sector springs directly from her own practical experience and commitment to the development of this sector. In 1976, she co-founded the award-winning EKOME NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY, England’s pioneering African arts group, which took England and Europe by storm for over a decade.
Her interest in acting was first seen when she performed at the Albany Theatre in London, in Ntosake Shange’s Play `For Coloured Girls Who Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Wasn’t Enough’. Other acting credits include the lead role of `Becky’ in the Act Theatre Company production `Brashana O’ to name but a few.
Angie has toured diverse venues from The Royal Albert Hall to the main stage at Glastonbury Festival in the UK and has presented performances in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Scandinavia.
Character Role: Max
Bryan Lawrence is an actor, known for The Good Book (1997), Operation Mayfair (2023) and Goodnight Sweetheart (1993). Bryan is a successful British Actor and Presenter with over 20 years’ experience.
He has played leading roles in TV dramas, comedies and feature films. He is also one of the busiest actors in TV commercials with over 400 worldwide credits to his name.
As a presenter Bryan has fronted corporate films for over 200 blue chip companies. You might recognise Bryan's voice from many radio and TV campaigns. He also voiced Butch the Dog in several series of ‘The Sooty Show’!
Outside of work Bryan is an accomplished rower and competes nationally and internationally. In both work and sport he prides himself on being professional, punctual, reliable and friendly and is
always happy to muck in!
Character Role: Nya
Abayomi Oniyide is a professional actor based in Hackney, London. He is an Actor and Producer, known for Package, Gatwick Gangsters (2017) and Project Summer (2022).
After studying Drama and Physical Theatre at St. Mary's University in Twickenham for 3 years, Abayomi has gone on to feature in several music videos, short films and full-length features online.
Character Role: Destinee
Maureen Hibbert is an Actress with theatre roles in: The Tragedy of Macbeth: Almeida Theatre, Rosmersholm: Sonia Friedman Productions (The Duke of York’s Theatre), Hamlet RSC: (National
Tour, Hackney Empire, & Kennedy Centre, Washington DC, USA), Markus the Sadist, (Stratford Circus, Bloomsbury Theatre & UK Tour), The Big Life (Stratford Theatre Royal); and Ragamuffin, (Creative Origins And UK Arts Int).
Some of her TV appearances are: The Irregulars (Netflix), Spirit Warriors (CBBC), State Of Play (Endor Productions) and The Real McCoy (BBC Television.)
Her film credits include: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Heyday Films/Warner), The Fever (Fevershawn Productions), and Notting Hill (Bookshop Productions).
Maureen’s radio debut was Poems on 4 for BBC Radio, and she has recently added work as a Voiceover Artist to her repertoire.
Character Role: Gabriel
Alexander Akosile is an award winning London based professional Actor and a Writer. His recent work includes the Jagame Thandhiram movie, streaming on Netflix and Shielding Sheila short film by Joyce Grey- Carter, where he plays the role of Gabriel.
As well as being an aspiring Writer, Alexander also makes his own Short Films one of which has received selections and nominations from Film Festival submissions.
Character Role: Soli
Leila Barkane studied Drama at Middlesex University, and loves creating characters.
An avid advocate for animal welfare, she loves spending time with her rescue dog Sherlock.
Character Role: Jokes
Character Role: Social Care Worker
Maria Louisa is a Dancer and Actor of Middle Eastern origin.
Her dance career takes her all over the world performing at events and celebrations.
Her TV career has included fun dancing appearances in "Say yes to the Dress” dancing at the wedding reception and as the Egyptian entertainment for a "Come Dine with me" contestant.
Her acting work has included featured ad roles as well as parts in Kingsman, the Golden Circle and in Gomorrah, the Hippopotamus and Last Christmas. She has also played a government minister in a Bollywood movie, Eva Peron in a feature film in Kenya and as a guest in a Nollywood film, "The Hibiscus Hotel"
Maria was cast as Sheila's Social Care Worker in the Shielding Sheila film.
Character Role: Neighbour
Indiannie Williams, actress and model.
Indiannie Williams grew up on the South West Coast, parents from The Yemen. All throughout her life she has loved to perform and entertain. Her career began in the healthcare industry, however she always knew she wanted to follow her creative talents. She has appeared in many short films and web series. In Shielding Sheila she plays the character Nali, Sheila’s neighbour.
As a model she has worked on corporate and alternative shoots. Following her dream is important to her, and believes if you have a dream follow it, you never know where it will take you.
Character Role: Car Radio Voice Over
David is British-born, living and recording from his London Professional studio.
David embarked upon a career as a Voiceover Artist on the 28 July 2014, where he had entered the Voiceover industry.
Since working as a Voiceover Artist and Actor, David has produced over 1200 Commercials, TV documentaries, ADR, Games, Dubbing, E-learning and Explainer projects recorded to date.
David produced the voiceover for the male News Reader in the Shielding Sheila short film production.
CALOGERO ‘GERRY’ PACI
Role: Music Composer and Producer
Calogero ‘Gerry’ Paci has worked in the education system for the last 17 years, leading departments for the latter 14.
He graduated from the London College of Music in 1997 in classical performance and jazz. With a hunger for the Sonic/Performance Arts, he has since applied his skills and passion as a composer, curating Sonic/Performance Arts events and live performances.
He currently lives in Spain, Valencia where he leads a successful Secondary School Music Department and regularly enjoys performing in festivals and a variety of music events.
RICO – DEMDRONES
Role: Drone Footage
WOMEN FILM FESTIVAL
Toronto Film Magazine
Cannes World Film Festival
RedWolf Film Festival Awards
London Movie Awards
Bright International Film Festival
Milan Gold Awards
Paris Film Awards
Filmhaus Berlin 2022
London Lift-Off Film Festival
Robinson Film Awards
Climax Film Festival
SHIELDING SHEILA STILLS
Michael & Sonny