There's a story behind every story. Borrowed Time's story began quite a few years ago in 2008 its very own writer-director, experienced one of strangest chain of events which still to this day have impacted her. Ginevra, not because it was her story, but because of the surreal circumstances around it and what they ultimately conveyed, wanted to turn the events into a short film.
With it being a personal project and one that would require a significant amount of prep, she waited for the right time. At the beginning of January 2021, Ginevra got into a car accident, and that's when she decided it was the perfect time for her to begin the project, so as she recovered from the crash she began writing the script for Borrowed Time. With the help of close people around her she refined the story, and just before spring she officially began pre-production.
How it all began
“getting into that accident made me live the experience in such a vivid way that I thought it the perfect time for me to approach the script...”
While thinking about talent for the project, Ginevra knew she wanted to make this either an all or majority female production. Borrowed Time is a story centred around three generations of women with its youngest as protagonist, and she wanted to solidify her wish for a majority female crew and also an international one.
The Search for Talent
Ginevra quickly found her head of departments and crew, amongst which DoP Jackie Teboul, Stunt Coordinator Elaine Ford, Sound Designer Michalianna Tefanopoulou and composer Kirsten Price; she had three young and very passionate women co-producing alongside her: Felicia Holst, Anastasia Maltseva and Ziyi Cao. They were indispensable throughout the whole production.
The search for cast began quickly after. Ginevra thought she would struggle to find the right actor for the lead role. She was in touch with agencies, but also decided to run her own casting call. One of the first actors who applied was a British-Italian young actor fairly new to the industry, Olivia Donati Clarke. Named just like our lead character, Olivia had submitted a self-tape: her pure and raw performance left our director at loss for words. Instantly Ginevra knew Olivia would be perfect for the part. It was not long after they met and she was cast in the film. Following Olivia, international actress Heléna Antonio joined the cast in the role of the mother, along with Suzanna Hamilton as the grandmother. Last but not least was the rest of our supporting cast with Dean Kilbey, Roli Okorodudu, Victoria Geppetti and Christopher Hardcastle.
(During a rehearsal in the photo from left to right co-producers Nastia Maltseva and Felicia Holst, Lead Heléna Antonio, Writer-Director Ginevra Gentili and star of the film Olivia Donati Clarke.)
“All three locations provided the right setting and palettes for our film”
Borrowed Time was shot in three locations: Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford, a lovely country home in Buckinghamshire and Hertford East train station. All three locations provided the right setting and palettes for our film and were reasonably distanced from London where most of our cast and crew is based. Unfortunately they were not always this sunny during our filming days! #filmingintheuk
Everything was ready to go by mid-July, when the evening before the first day of filming the director received a phone call from the star of the film who had tested positive for Covid. The shoot was cancelled and reschedule losing almost half of its original crew. Our production team had to pull miracles, but managed to push through and filming finally happened in early August during three very intense and challenging days.
The Post Production
Unfortunately the streak of bad luck continued and Borrowed Time lost its editor just after filming wrapped. The production struggled to find a replacement and it wasn't until September that amazing offline editor Emil Joseph came onboard. During the edit, pick-up shots had to be arranged which delayed things even further. We finally reached picture lock in November and moved on to sound design with Michalianna Tefanopoulou, score with Kirsten Price and the grade.
The Finish Line
It wasn't until January that the score and sound were signed off and the grade and online edit were recently completed. Our director decided to embrace every delay and challenge with one goal in mind: to make sure every aspect of the film was telling our story in the most effective way. With a trailer ready to be released and the film finally beginning festival submissions, we are very excited to have finally reached this stage. We cannot wait to see how audiences and the festival industry receive it.