The Incident: director Jane Linfoot on her Yorkshire-set psychological drama

First-time feature director Jane Linfoot discusses the challenges of low-budget filmmaking and her experiences making tense debut The Incident.

23 November 2016

By Joseph Walsh

The Incident (2015)

“The reality is you often have to create your own opportunities when first starting out,” says director Jane Linfoot, whose debut The Incident is released in cinemas on 25 November. Her film is a psychological drama concerning a young couple, played by Ruta Gedmintas and Tom Hughes, whose lives are turned upside down when they cross paths with a troubled and vulnerable young teen played by Tasha Connor.

While Jane Linfoot had experience working as a line producer and production manager making commercials, it was her time spent doing voluntary work for the Karen Hilltribes Trust charity on the Thai/Burmese border that encouraged her to make her first film.

“I picked up a video camera and made an observational short film about the plight of the people,” she says. “It was that experience that stayed with me and inspired me to move into creating my own work.”

Her experience gave her an understanding of knowing what could be achieved on a low budget, and in writing The Incident she knew that “a cast of thousands, helicopter shots and multiple far-flung locations” would be out of the question.

For Linfoot, it has always been about creating stories that “emotionally connect and impact on an audience, and stay with them beyond the end credits.” With The Incident she says: “I truly believed in the essence of the story and felt it was an important time to tell a story like this.”

Jane Linfoot

Linfoot explains how writing her own material gave her the time to build characters and really connect with them. “So, when it comes to casting and directing the actors, I have a good understanding of what I am looking for, and how best to try to encourage the emotional performances that I need from them,” she says.

Linfoot appreciates just how important the support is from the whole production team, especially on a first feature. “The people that come on board are there because they are passionate about the project and have a genuine desire to be involved; they aren’t doing it for the money. I was fortunate to have incredible support from old and new collaborators who really believed in the film.”

Watch writer-director Jane Linfoot and cast members Ruta Gedmintas and Tom Hughes talk more about The Incident

The Incident was backed by the BFI Film Fund.

This interview also appeared in BFI Filmmakers magazine.

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