Portrait will be celebrating its World Premiere at London Film Week 2020 on December 6th at 5pm at the Everyman Broadgate Cinema at London Film Week’s Online Festival.
The film is a tense drama which was created production company Hydraholix Productions, starring up-and-coming Scottish Actress Sorcha Groundsell (Netflix’s The Innocents, BBC’s Clique). Hydraholix Productions is a filmmaker collective comprised of Keir Siewert & Alix Austin, whose work focuses on genre films and dark dramas. Their most notable work so far includes Bruce Millar Award winning crime thriller True Value and ‘Best Horror Short’ winning RETCH, which premiered on ALTER after touring at over 30 festivals worldwide including the London Short Film Festival and Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. Most recently Alix & Keir’s work featured in Variety for their segment in Horror Anthology ‘Isolation’, alongside Dennie Gordon, Larry Fessenden and Bobby Roe:
It is based on real accounts, a model takes matters into her own hands to expose a serial predator in the photography world. Rhetta, an industrious model who sets up a shoot with a predatory photographer, notorious for his coercion tactics and aggressive behaviour. However, little does he realise that Rhetta has orchestrated this meeting as a sting to expose his inappropriate behaviour on an online video livestream.
Writer/Director Keir Siewert comments: “The film is built on research from interviews with 21 models about their experiences overcoming the abuse of power in the photography world. PORTRAIT was a truly eye-opening experience for me, not only as a filmmaker and photographer, but also as a man. The genesis came from a casual conversation I was having with a model I was collaborating with on a photoshoot. She told me about an incident where a photographer she was working with on a paid shoot involving nude photography, had paused the shoot and gone to the bathroom. At first, she was just confused. This quickly developed into being horrified when she realised the photographer was pleasuring himself over the photos he had just taken of her. When I talked to other models, I was disturbed by the amount of casual, coercive and flat out abusive behaviour I heard about. Though the characters of the models are played by actresses, I purposefully cast women who had personal experience within the modelling world and could relate directly to the accounts of the real women. The film isn’t an easy watch, but I hope it can help create meaningful conversation.”