Subtly charming and funny, SexLife is touching in its honesty regards the bizarrely taboo subject of sex after recent birth. Deftly straddling the line between empathetic frustration and humour, the film tackles the subject in a dialogue-driven chamber piece, presenting a snapshot of a young couple that have reached a crossroads in their relationship. And, for only 15 minutes, a long journey takes place.
The raison d'être is set immediately, as Mia prepares for bed and husband Dylan dresses as her presumed fantasy, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, in a naive attempt to seduce her. A common error would be to exploit the humour in this, however what is an intelligent script opts instead for her incredulity, paving the way for a realistic exploration of their relationship. A literal kitchen-sink setting complemented by the awkward, cross-dressing absurdity is what grants SexLife its charm, and this beauty of simplicity effectively neutralises the viewer to empathise with both halves of the couple and indeed identify with our third character, the unseen child that oversees proceedings via baby monitor.
Jemima Rooper and Dylan Edwards are both equally convincing in their roles, while director Stefan Georgiou deftly charges the pair through their frustrations to complete the journey to believable effect. An excellent edit and framing choices complement said journey, emphasising the distance between the two then gradually guiding them back together. The film's absurdity, when it comes, by then feels so natural the viewer may as well be in the room. Highly recommended.
An introduction from the director, writer and producer
The making of Sexlife - by Mahalia John
Co-producer, Duncan MacInnes, on SexLife
Kefi Chadwick is a multi award-winning writer. Her play, Mathematics of the Heart, won Best New Play at Brighton Festival and an Argus Angel for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and transferred to a sell out run at Theatre 503 in London.
She has contributed two highly critically acclaimed plays – SexLife and La Petite Mort - to Peep (Latitude Festival and Edinburgh) and was also commissioned by Latitude Festival to create a unique piece of theatre When I have sex with you I... which has been optioned for further development.
Her short film, Cregan, was selected by BBC Film Network and screened in competition nationally and internationally and won at Waterford Film Festival and collected the Audience Award at New York Film Festival. She is currently developing TV projects with Noho and has just been commissioned to write her first feature by Melenchuk Williams and Stick Man Production. Her short film, GirlPower (Impact Film and TV and Attercop), stars Jason Flemying, Alice Lowe and Dakota Blue Richards.
Stefan Georgiou is an award-winning writer/director and graduate from the National Film & Television School. His acclaimed short films have screened at film festivals and on television throughout the world. He took part in ‘Think, Shoot, Distribute’ as part of the London Film Festival and was selected as a ‘Star of Tomorrow’ by Screen International magazine in 2011.
His debut feature film, indie romantic-comedy Dead Cat screened at multiple festivals worldwide and went on to win awards incl. Best Emerging Director at the Oaxaca Film Festival & Golden Lion for best independent film at the British Independent Film Festival. Selected by Film London to screen at the BFI for the London UK Film Focus, it was also long-listed for the Outstanding Debut BAFTA.
Stefan’s latest short film is an adaptation of Kefi Chadwick’s successful play, comedy/drama Sexlife. Selected as part of the prestigious ‘Short of the Week’, it has screened at renowned festivals including Tribeca, Brief Encounters, Aesthetica and the London Short Film Festival.
He is in post-production on TV pilots The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth for Hilary Bevan Jones at Endor Productions, written by William Boyd and Overcommitted for Soda Pictures, written by Bridget Arsenault and Marti Leimbach.
He is currently developing a slate of commercial film and television projects.
Ted Byron Baybutt is the director of Chasing The Bear Films, a successful production company based in Greenwich, London.
Ted worked at BBC Solent, production managing BBC News and Children In Need. Graduating from Southampton Institute and the London Film Academy, he worked on over 50 productions ranging from The Secret Agent at Ealing Studios to The Mummy at Shepperton Studios. He produced and directed short film Putt, which was screened before a Vin Diesel Disney film in the UK and has produced a nationally acclaimed play, Auntie and Me. Last year in addition to producing SexLife, he produced another multi-award winning short film called Surgery and he is currently in pre-production on an international feature film from a multi-award winning director.
Ted successfully supplements his independent filmmaking by also producing and directing large corporate film productions in all media sectors for the likes of Hiscox Insurance, Capita Personnel Development and Royal Mail.
Ted is consulting Managing Director at Festival Formula, a successful company which strategises film festival submissions for a large slate of filmmakers.
Separately Ted is distilling his film experience in MovieSweep™ an innovative and fun narrative game which tests players’ movie knowledge and allows them to view and purchase films. The app has distribution deals with global companies and is due for release this year.
Snow is Senior Event Manager at Nibbs Events, an extraordinary events company with an excellent reputation. It has extensive experience working with all the major UK film distributors, having organised the world premieres for major releases such as Skyfall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Avatar.
Currently Senior Production Manager at ‘Endemol UK’ which is one of the largest independent producers in the UK; part of a worldwide network spanning 24 countries. Michael is a consummate production manager, having managed in the region of 60 episodes of ‘Total Wipeout’; a number one rated, international comedy/endurance show; 3 series of ‘Big Brother’, as well as working for: BBC, SKY, Discovery Channel and Channel 4.
Duncan has an extensive track record in film co-production with other UK based independent film makers such as Maximus Productions, Bad Pony Media in Glasgow and later this year 2bActing Collective in Leeds. He is a writer with a number of worthy credits and an award winning actor with twenty years television and stage experience. Defcon Films is supported by Channel 4, Adidas, Luke 1977 Clothing and an experienced and dedicated team of film veterans, camera and sound technicians as well as the cream of British talent.
Joshua's unique combo of artistic soul and production talent shines through, whether he’s producing behind the camera or working in front of it. Based out of Rubin Postaer and Associates (RPA), Joshua produced the new eye-catching series of Farmers Insurance ads for their Smart Hub digital site, and produced scores of Honda spots, including the One Show-nominated “Honda Loves You Back” campaign, for which he was also on-camera talent. He has also worked on campaigns for Intuit, Ad Council and Mandalay Bay, to name a few.