Back in January, we posted the winner of the 2010 Relentless Short Stories competition. Here we have the first entry for the 2011 competition:
A platform for young filmmakers, the latest five minute Short Stories film is the vision of East London based photographer-turned-filmmaker James Henry. Since graduating from Hertfordshire University, the young creative has honed his cinematic talents producing promos for underground bands to fashion brands and magazines.
Passionate punk, travelling troubadour and songwriter extraordinaire, Frank Turner is the enigmatic star of The Road – the first film of 2011 for Short Stories, proudly presented by Relentless Energy Drink.
James’ documentary debut, The Road is the first entry in the second year of Relentless Energy Drink’s film making competition Short Stories. For its debut year in 2010, the winning film was Dark Side of the Lens – a breathtaking visual poem to the ocean by renowned surf photographer Mickey Smith and filmmaker Allan Wilson of the Astray Collective. The stunning short went viral instantly on release, clocking up over a million views, winning prestigious awards from The New York Surf Film Festival, Canadian Surf Film Festival, Surfer Poll Awards and more.
Via probing interviews, behind-the-scenes studio shots, and live footage at intimate sold out shows, James reveals the person behind the Frank Turner enigma, and how he personifies Focus, the shared theme for all this year’s Short Stories films. We follow his journey from DIY punk frontman (with post-hardcore quartet Million Dead) to struggling songwriter, then today’s festival-headlining hero. A musical poet for the protest generation, Frank’s drive personifies the ‘No Half Measures’ philosophy of Relentless Energy Drink.
Inspired by hardcore pioneers Black Flag and Minor Threat, plus the classic songs of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, Frank makes unpretentious folk punk, with an everyman, anthem appeal. James mirrors this timeless approach cinematically with The Road - using grainy black and white imagery to recreate a vintage 70s feel.
In the vein of previous Short Stories films, Frank shares his story in his own words and how, determined to restart at a grassroots level, he endured sacrifice, suffering and struggle: from gruelling tours, indifferent audiences, financial difficulties and self-doubt, to critical acclaim, adoration, awards and blanket peer recognition.
“There’s a lyrical honesty that comes through in Frank’s music - a real sincerity,” concludes James. “I want to explore who he is at his core: it’s Frank’s story so who better to tell it than him himself?”
To view this and the other entries for the Relentless Short Stories competition, check out relentlessenergy.com