Boys on Film: An interview with Neil Ely

Adam Lowe

Ahead of the release of the fabulous DVD Boys on Film 13: Trick & Treat, Vada managed to snag an interview with Neil Ely, the director of Manchester-based short film ‘Mirrors’.

What’s the film about?

Set in the unisex toilet of a Manchester night-club, two young men catch each other’s eye. They find that their lives mirror each other in more ways than one, revealing their feelings to each other, until the only thing left is to face the person staring back at them…

Why did you make the film?

I’d just finished writing a feature – which I’ve put on the back burner unless somebody wants to give me a few million quid – ha!

I decided I wanted to write a short as I knew I could write and film it on a smaller budget and time scale. As for the storyline I wanted to explore the grey areas of sexuality to leave the audience asking questions.

Are they gay? Bi? Or straight? Do they have to be any of those things?

What do you think of the state of LGBT representation in mainstream film?

I think it’s improving. It wasn’t long ago that the LGBT community were merely reduced to a stereotype in mainstream cinema. However, I still think we have a way to go.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new film about The Krays with Tom Hardy, and how they have portrayed Ronnie, who was openly gay (I have a slight Tom Hardy thing).

We also have triumphs such as Love Is Strange and Pride. I had the pleasure of meeting the writer of Pride, and he told me he got the idea for the script by overhearing a conversation on a bus while in Manchester.

What film have you enjoyed this year and why?

I’m always watching and re-watching films, and I have a few classics: Beautiful Thing and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Yet sometimes you just want some popcorn and adventure, so I’d have to say this year it’s got to be Jurassic World – purely for entertainment!

What do you have planned for the future?

I’ve just directed Kavana‘s new music video for his new single ‘Dejavu’, which has an oldschool 50s theme with a cameo from Katie Price as we’ve never seen her before!

I’ve also started work on two scripts for features, one of which will follow on from the guys in ‘Mirrors’. It’s all very exciting, although I’m going to look at funding this time around.

The last feature I did – Three in a Bed – was small budget, so for the foreseeable future I’ll be looking for investors – if any are reading this get in touch!

Don’t forget you can #WIN a copy of Boys on Film 13.

Jody Latham and Liam Boyle in MIRRORS headline

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