Our seventh online showcase presents Take Courage by Gabriel Owen and produced by Katie Sinclair, a noir tinged study of grief and loyalty.
Written and directed by Gabriel Owen, TAKE COURAGE is a short film about the life-changing decision that 22-year-old Darren must make after his close friend is murdered by a boy from his neighbourhood. Based on a true story.
Handling its tragic inspiration with care and sensitivity, Take Courage effectively morphs from neo-noir mystery into piercing social commentary in just eleven minutes of run time. Enriched by a deep well of nuanced and vividly drawn characters, Take Courage paints a layered portrait of a community stricken by grief, balancing the tense plotting and choppy editing by Beth Lamont and Lewis Knaggs with a world that feels lived in and true to its East London setting.
Crucial to Take Courage’s success is actor Will Walker as Darren, whose heavy physicality and numbed delivery reflect the grief, responsibility and conflicted loyalty that he grapples with throughout the film’s efficient runtime. Darren’s hesitance to do the right thing is amplified by his straddling of the two worlds he lives in and is navigated with precision and subtlety by Walker. Also of note is Reice Weathers as “Kas”. Weathers’ bounce and energy never overshadow the complexity of his relationships with Darren and the film’s knife-edged antagonist Marcus and converge the subtexts that ripple under the surface of Take Courage.
Gabriel Owen is a young filmmaker based in London. ‘Take Courage’ is based on real events experienced by one of his close friends and with whom he worked closely to develop the story and bring it to life. Gabriel has worked in production for BBC/HBO and ITV. He’s written and directed a number of short films as well as co-writing and producing the award winning comedy pilot ‘Life in Black’, starring Jemma Redgrave and Liam Neeson.
Producer Katie Sinclair’s recent BFI-funded short film SIGNS (wri/dir. Yero Timi-Biu) won a Jury Prize at the Oscar-qualifying Encounters Film Festival and played at many others at home and abroad. Her latest film THE LAST DAYS (wri/dir. Dipo Baruwa-Etti) is backed by BFI/BBC Drama. By day, Katie Sinclair is Development Executive at Blueprint Pictures (EMMA, THREE BILLBOARDS) and has previously worked in production and development at BBC, Disney, Lionsgate and Sugar Films.