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' T H E    P O O L '

Set in the far flung mountains of a fictional Siberian wilderness, backpackers Emma and Mark traverse an epic expanse. Hiking by day and camping by night, the young couple journey through some of the most beautiful landscapes unknown to man.

 

Despite the beauty, there is a heaviness to Mark's movements. A mark that cannot be healed. His is a heavy heart that Emma carries softly.

One day, as they reach yet another peak of the infinite expanse, Emma sights a small Lake below them. Not recorded on any of their maps, she decides to investigate. With Mark reluctantly trudging behind her, they descend the hillside to the water's edge.

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Images from 'The Pool'  lookbook

Centuries ago, an old woman named Yisun was found here. Collecting water into a bottle she seals carefully, Yisun begins a long journey - climbing mountains, traversing thick forests and deep valleys, Yisun walks endless miles back to her home.

Inside the walls of her Yurt, Yisun's sickly elderly husband lays dying. Turning his body she reveals a deep infected wound upon his back. 
Pouring water onto it, she waits for a miracle that does not come. The liquid she has preciously carried back from the Lake has no power here. It has not healed him. 

Quickly but methodically, Yisun dismantles the Yurt to make a stretcher within a sled. Lifting her husband carefully into it, she begins her journey again, pulling the sled through deep valleys and thick forests. Over mountains and the miles they contain, onward to the Lake. 

 

Every step is hard. Every pull of the sled a battle. But despite the physical weight, Yisun continues. It is love and the fear of losing it that drives her.

Arriving at the Lake she moves the sled and her husband into the water. She waits for a reaction. All hope too. With seemingly everything lost, suddenly from the water her husband emerges, transformed back to youth. We see the Man in the Lake in his form. The infection of his back healed. Yisun takes to the water as well. Her body transformed to youth. The couple rejoice in power of the water. In one another. Her relief, his gratitude. 

 

As Yisun leaves the Lake, we see her transform again - back to the older age of before. It is only within the boundary of the water's edge where youth is promised. And so when her husband moves to the shore, aging too, we see the pain in his back return. Blood again born. He is not cured. He will not be.

When Yisun asks for his hand to return home, he does not take it. Choosing instead to stay within the Water. In a prison of youthful form.

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'The Pool' - shooting location in the Lake District

 

As the Man of the Lake finishes his story, Emma questions whether any fear should ever win in a fight with love. She bids the Man of the Lake goodbye.

 

Mark addresses the Man of the Lake without looking at him. Telling him that Emma's cancer has returned once more. That she won't fight it this time with treatment. That Emma "believes one day making memories is better than a thousand days remembering them...". 

When Mark leaves the water, hugging his wife with an understanding now known, the Man in the Lake returns to the shoreline, aged and dying, asking the couple to bury him.

 

Crew biographies:
 

The film will be directed by me, and produced by my great friend, Georgina Walker-Ralph. Our attached cinematographer is the award winning, unbelievably talented Tamás Apor Méder.  Anastasiya Mykhaylova is our fantastic production designer and the everything that is Yvonne Lawlor has joined the team as our casting director dream. 


Here are our bios:


 

WRITER & DIRECTOR :
Matt Maude is an award winning director, producer and screenwriter. Matt's last documentary feature film, ‘General Magic’, a Showtime, National Geographic and Canal+ release, is the winner of eight best documentary awards. Upon its VOD release, ‘General Magic’ was the number #1 best selling documentary on iTunes. 

At the Tribeca Film Festival, Matt was nominated for the Best New Director Award. Previously a member of the UK Film Council’s ‘Super 8’ - eight filmmakers to watch, Matt is the winner of the Best Short Award at the Discover Film Festival, the winner of the Kirin First Cut Award and a runner up in the Virgin Media Shorts Award Competition. Matt is a part time lecturer, the founder of Write Club, and heads up the writer’s development program at Soho House x Soho Works. 


 

CINEMATOGRAPHER:
Tamás A Méder is a multi award winning Transylvanian cinematographer based in London. His work has premiered at the London Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival and the Camerimage Film Festival. He is the winner of the BSC Short Film Cinematography Competition and the Golden Melody Award. In February 2024, Tamás was selected as one of Berlinale Talents.



PRODUCTION DESIGNER:
Anastasiya Mykhaylova is a production designer from Kharkiv, Ukraine. She received a BA in Film Studies from King's College London and an MA in filmmaking from the London Film School. As an art director Anastasiya explores a range of topics, focusing on dark fantasy, folklore, magical realism and the absurd. Recent production designer credits include ‘Sparare Alle Anguire’ (Shortlisted for the BAFTA student awards; premiering at El Gouna Film Festival 2023 & Interfilm Berlin 2023) and ‘Assassin’s Guild’ - currently in post production.


PRODUCER:
Georgina Walker-Ralph has worked in TV, Film and Video Production for over two decades. Starting her career at the age of 16 as an actress, Georgina crossed behind the camera in her early 20s, working in production on music videos, commercials, corporate videos and short films before beginning her producing career. Today, Georgina manages the Business Development at Southpoint Films alongside her producing work.


EXECUTIVE PRODUCER:
Michael Stern is the award winning executive producer of ‘General Magic’. He practised law in Silicon Valley for 35 years, working at Steve Jobs’ IP lawyer alongside legal posts at Pixar, Adobe, NeXT, and eBay. His varied background includes time working as a Vietnam anti-war protestor, an English professor at Columbia University, a journalist at the Wall Street Journal, a Dickens scholar at Cambridge and the Chair of the American Prospect.

PRODUCTION COMPANY:
Formerly a collective represented by Academy Films, Left Eye Blind Productions now produces feature length films and TV series. Previous broadcast credits include works for the BBC, Channel 4, SVT, Showtime and National Geographic.




SCRIPT:

Please find the script below:

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