Ed Bartholomew
The back of a man is seen looking forward to the beach with immigrants arriving on a gloomy autumn day, introducing ‘Despair’ a short film by Ed Bartholomew

‘Despair’ – Short Film

DateMarch, 2018
SkillsVideo Production

Short Description

A farmer turns to trafficking immigrants in order to avoid bankruptcy but plans quickly worsen when deaths occur and Henry is left wondering if he made the right decision.


How far would desperation take you?


In this short film, both the farmer and the immigrants are caught up in a web of desperation – the farmer turns to trafficking migrants to avoid bankruptcy and the migrants are desperate for a better life overseas. This situation goes from bad to worse following a death on site, and the farmer is left wondering if he made the right decision.

Inspired by Real Issues

This short film aims to create an awareness of the issues of human trafficking and small business, and how they could be linked to the emotion and motivation of desperation. Farmers are perceived as wealthy landowners, yet this is often far from the case and many small farmers are facing pressures and uncertainties from supermarket profits and recent trade deals. We were inspired by the tales of people willing to risk their lives, liberty and life savings to escape their conditions. Yet the grass is not always greener as others are also desperate to improve their own lives, and are prepared to compromise all that they know is right to do so.

This short film comprised the Final Year Project for my undergraduate degree. I filmed this ambitious project over the course of a week in November 2017. It required a huge amount of organisation from recruiting and casting actors, to finding locations, lighting, catering, sound, film, script writing, sourcing a police van, drone and speed boat with council and harbour permissions respectively, the management of a budget, costumes and props, post-production editing, health and safety issues and battling against the light and weather that November brings. I also created promotional material for ‘Despair’ which included a press pack and poster.

The film was short-listed for the Winchester Film Festival and a private screening was held at New Park Cinema, Chichester to thank all of the considerable number of people involved in its creation.

© Ed Bartholomew 2024