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Life's a lottery - 10 unique films

A series of films documenting the dreams and harsh realities of people at the margins of society has been released


The ten films, all under the title “Life’s A Lottery”, were made by Acting on Impulse, an associated ministry of Altrincham Baptist Church, with the help of the film production company Finite Productions.

The actors are ordinary people who have experienced issues from homelessness to mental health, issues that are becoming increasingly common in our society.

In the films, each actor explains what they would do if they won the lottery, baring their big dreams in dramatic presentation to the camera. However, as the glamour of their dreams fades, it leaves the brutal truth of their situations.

Each film has its own style, with one set up like Mastermind and one actor wanting to be a secret millionaire. Another is done as sincere and powerful performance poetry. Dreams vary from driving trucks to a flying doctor service and reflect the true stories of the actors.

'It is personal to the group and I am so very proud of our actors,' said Lauren Pouchly, a member of Altrincham Baptist Church and a producer and writer involved.

'Some moments are really raw. I had tears in my eyes at the end of many of the films, there are some heartbreakingly truthful moments.'

The individual films are titled simply by the name of the actor featured in them. They premiered at HOME cinema in Manchester and are now available online: http://www.actingonimpulse.net/LifesaLottery/.

All 20 actors attended the premiere and took a bow at the end, receiving a standing ovation from the 200-strong audience.

Acting on Impulse line up

As with previous films, including The Box and Life After Street Life, the characters, concept and storylines were developed through workshops, aiming to challenge public perceptions of people at the margins of society. The actors developed their stories at workshops in October before filming for long hours over four days with a professional crew in studio and on location.

Garry Paton, who works for Finite Productions, was the director. 'I want the films to show that everyone has a dream and it’s up to every individual to stand up and make changes for themselves and for others.

'If people think the homeless villages are an eyesore, the solution is not to bulldoze them, but to think about and challenge the reason they are there,' he said.
One of the actors was homeless for most of the workshops, but said nothing would stop him from taking part. Another veteran of Acting on Impulse films talked about her Trans journey. As they left the cinema, many in the audience said it was the best films that the charity has produced so far.
'There are so many grassroots issues that are being forgotten by society today,' said Garry. 'We show the dreams and aspirations of real people.

'We then subvert the stories to reveal their true situations, citizens who in everyday life are being neglected, left and ignored because society just doesn’t have the time, money or space for them.'

Acting on Impulse is a Manchester based charity founded by Lauren Pouchly in 2007. Since, it has worked with people who are homeless and socially excluded, coming up with new challenges and achievements for the actors every year.

By Kira Taylor

Baptist Times, 26/08/2016
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