Norwich film selected for indie festival

Reece Wells as Carter in the short film Papercut

Reece Wells as Carter in the short film Papercut - Credit: Contributed

Edward Heredia has loved film since he was young.  

Growing up in Bogota, capital city of Colombia, he would make little videos of his toys or his friends, filming them on his mum’s phone. 

“I was always so keen on just filming something and seeing what I could do,” says Edward. “It was always silly things. 

Later, when he was in a rock band, he would make music videos for them. But it wasn’t until he came to study at Norwich University of the Arts that film-making became his focus. 

Emerging film director Edward Heredia

Emerging film director Edward Heredia - Credit: Contributed

“I wanted to be a rockstar and then I wanted to pursue painting, I was all over the place," he says.

"It was only when I’d left Colombia to study fine art in Saudi Arabia that I was like, okay, film-making is what I want to do – I want to tell the world how I feel and how I see things.” 

And in 2016, he came to Norfolk to study for a BA in film and moving image production at Norwich University of the Arts. 

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During that time projects he worked on included promotional videos for the city’s Hamlet Charity for children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. 

“The city has given me so many opportunities and has allowed me to grow creatively in its artistic community,” says Edward. 

When he graduated last year, he joined The Ideas Factory hub for creative entrepreneurs, where he works as a freelance director and film-maker. 

And just before he graduated, a script he had written during the first lockdown was chosen to be filmed as part of the New Creatives Talent Development Scheme supported by Arts Council England, BBC Arts and Screen South - one of a select number of projects to be developed in the region.  

Papercut is a powerful short, inspired by the hardships of young, vulnerable people and the concept of escapism.  

Through drama and dance it tells the story of juvenile offender, Carter, who has been released on bail.

After an argument with his alcoholic mother, Christine, their distance grows and Carter decides to run away from home. 

The film explores family dynamics, domestic abuse and the futility of criminality. 

“Even though this film does not intend to make a political statement, it aims to open up a conversation about the available governmental support and counselling for vulnerable communities - especially that of young vulnerable people,” says Edward.   

“For some reason I’ve always been interested in very raw stories, stories that people can relate to,” he continues, listing Martin Scorsese, Jean-Luc Godard and Alejandro G Inarritu among the directors whose work he admires and finds inspiring.  

Agnes Lillis and Reece Wells as Christine and Carter in Papercut

Agnes Lillis and Reece Wells as Christine and Carter in Papercut - Credit: Contributed

The six-minute film, which will be available on BBC iPlayer next year, was shot over two days on location in and around Norwich with local talent and crew. 

Choreographer Rosy Mason has recently worked on a film for the BBC.  

Jonathan Blagrove and Evangeline Williams were producers for the project, Michal Zak was editor and Norwich-based casting Donna Triggs, who worked on Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, helped secure the two cast members. 

Reece Wells, who appears in Papercut

Reece Wells, who appears in Papercut - Credit: Contributed

Multi-hyphenate Reece Wells, who plays Carter, is also a model and a singer in the group AngelsNBandits which has played Glastonbury, Hyde Park and the Cavern Club.  

Agnes Lillis, who appears in Papercut

Agnes Lillis, who appears in Papercut - Credit: Bishy Barnabee Photography

And Agnes Lillis, who plays Christine, has a long list of theatre credits to her name including An Evening With Gary Lineker.

She runs the theatre company Yakety Yak, and teaches acting at The Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft. 

They filmed Papercut in February this year.  

“It was the weekend when it snowed randomly and we weren’t prepared for it because we didn’t expect it,” says Edward. 

Locations in the city included Thorpe Road, Pottergate, Trory Street and then at Bracon Hall in a field. 

“As the film moved forward, we were lucky enough to work with renowned Norfolk based sound post-production house Sonic Fruit, and bring on board London-based alumna of The National Film and Television School, Simona Susnea, who worked on the Netflix documentary biopic Audrey about the life of Audrey Hepburn,” says Edward.  

Papercut is on its first film festival run and got into the New Renaissance Film Festival. 

As for current projects, Edward has been working on a TV pilot, again with Reece Wells - he's actually speaking to the paper from the set. 

“Reece, the actor from my short film is in a band and they’ve been trying to commission a TV series based on the group members, like how Disney used to do with the Jonas Brothers, mixing a bit of storytelling with their music. 

“They just received some funding from the BFI and I’m helping out the director, who is a friend of mine.” 

Look out for Papercut on BBC iPlayer early in 2022.