Sophia Carr-Gomm is an up-and-coming UK based filmmaker. Her projects have included writing, directing and co-producing The Wider Sun which screened at the BFI as well as previously working as an actor in Shetland (BBC), Mr Selfridge (ITV) and The Inbetweeners 2.
The actor-turned-director enjoys character driven stories, unusual relationships and the layered combination of tragedy and comedy.
Her latest short film Nobody’s Darling was screened at London Film Week, before Cannes award winning feature film Portrait of a Lady on Fire and will be screening at London Short Film Festival in 2020. It was also screened at the 2019 London Lift-Off Film Festival, where Strand caught up with Sophia.
What was the inspiration behind Nobody’s Darling?
Ruby Richardson (lead character in the film) and Samuel Keefe are the writers, they saw my first film ‘The Wider Sun’ and asked me to direct ‘Nobody’s Darling’. Regarding their inspiration, it draws on the common experience of living in London in your twenties and feeling lost. It plays out over New Years Eve, a time that is meant to be filled with joy and can often have such a weighty undercurrent of sadness. Ruby and Sam have managed to touch on these sore subjects whilst also introducing comedy and satire, and weaving in the importance of true friends.
Do you have any writers/directors that inspire you as a filmmaker?
Oh yes indeed. Namely, Kahlil Joseph, Paul Thomas Anderson & Barry Jenkins. I am also inspired by specific films, rather than necessarily following everything that a writer-director does. Birdman, 1917, Thelma & Louise, The Darjeeling Limited, Whale Rider, My Summer of Love inspire me, to name just a few.
Do you consider Nobody’s Darling a film framed through the female gaze?
I personally have found that audiences of all genders have related to this story. I dislike the segregation of sexes in art as I believe we all have the capacity to empathise with human experience different to our own as well as find similarities. Love, friendship and loneliness is experienced by all and that's what makes it a universal story. You just have to write and make stuff and not worry about what others may think, maybe you’ll change their mind.
The film feels like an of ode to London, what’s your own relationship towards the city?
I have a love-hate relationship with London. I’ve lived in London on and off, finally settling away from it, but easy enough to pop in when necessary. I find London can be romantic and exciting, as well as exhausting and over-hyped. I find it has a magnetic quality and people feel like they can’t leave, but with the rising cost of living, artists are forced out - which is actually quite exciting, to expand our world a bit more.
Nobody’s Darling is set on New Years and touches on the loneliness that can accompany it, what do you think the importance of talking about these issues are?
It’s definitely something people should be more open about, not pressure friends to party who don’t feel like it. Especially in the big city, one can cover up emotions by lots of parties and drinking. To check in with yourself when you might be running from your feelings with distractions. This was a big theme in Nobody’s Darling.
Nobody’s Darling was screened at the 2019 London Lift-Off ilm Festival, how did you find watching your film on the big screen?
Great to see it on the big screen! It has had a successful film festival run, also screening at: London Short Film Festival (Curzon, Soho), London Film Week (Reagent Street Cinema), Hidden Film Festival, Little Wing and Cine City.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just directed another short film entitled ‘Mine’, written and shot by Samuel Grant and produced by Certain Light Films and West One Entertainment. We are about to submit that on the festival circuit. I’ve started pre-production for another short by Duncan Roe, which is due to shoot in the spring. I’m developing a feature film with my partner Adam Harley.
See more of Sophia's work at https://sophiacarrgomm.com/