Domestic Violence
Serious Offenders

Leaving – trailer

Leaving Film

Domestic Violence



The Brief:

To produce and multi award winning drama dealing with the suject of leaving domestic abuse:


  • Raises awareness of domestic abuse

  • Increases understanding of why leaving abuse can often be so difficult for the victim

  • Provides a medium for training people in the public and voluntary sectors to more easily recognise and support people suffering from domestic abuse

  • Improves understanding of domestic abuse amongst employers and provides a catalyst for improved workplace policies and procedures to support victims

The Response:

Leaving: a powerful short film drama that tells the story of Helen (Kierston Wareing, BAFTA Best Actress Nominee - Ken Loache’s It’s a Free World), and her attempt to break free from her violent husband Jim (Johnny Harris, Paul Andrew Williams’ London To Brighton).

The twenty-minute short film aims to offer a glimpse into the long and arduous process of safely leaving an abusive relationship, as well as confront the deep-rooted social misconception that those living with domestic violence ‘should just walk away’.

Leaving’s inception as an awareness raising idea was spearheaded by recently retired Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Long, who spent much of his career tackling domestic abuse within the South West region of the UK. Stephen wanted a film that would encourage communities to become actively aware of the signs of abuse, so that those other than the services could offer support to victims through a deeper understanding of the problem.

Stephen contacted communications agency Glennie McIntosh, a team adept at handling such social issues. Glennie McIntosh partnered up with Richard Penfold, Sam Hearn of highly experienced production company Omni Productions, who the year prior, together with Glennie, had won three significant International Visual Communication Awards for their drug addiction drama, The Overdose Notes. Leaving was produced in partnership with Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Primary Care Trust, Wiltshire Probation, Wiltshire County Council, Swindon Borough Council, Home Office, Swindon Women’s Refuge, SPLITZ, NSPCC, Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce and Westlea Housing.

Throughout pre-production, an advisory team was called upon to ensure that the film would remain truthful and respectful to those it would portray. Advisors included Jenni Manners MBE, whose 30 years of service to victims of domestic violence has earned her significant respect within the field, as well as other notable representatives from the Police and Probation services, and charities such as the NSPCC and SPLITZ.

Production took place in May 2008 shooting on 35mm film, primarily in Bristol, UK. Directors Richard Penfold & Sam Hearn lead the team. This included DOP: Richard Stewart (The RSC’s Hamlet, Coldplay’s Yellow), Make Up: Dianne Jameson (Last King Of Scotland, The Magdalene Sisters), and music by Dan Berridge (Better Things, ID-Identity of the Soul).

Through out the production process, on-set special domestic abuse advisors Sue Blacklock and Chris Fry were at hand for detailed advice and support.

Production and post production was generously supported by a host of companies namely: Take 2 Films, Arri Focus, Fuji Film, Dog House Post, Soho Images and Prime Focus London.


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