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The Keeper

The Keeper (UK • 2013 • 4 mins, 22 secs)

“It was painful to move because you had to go through the pain barrier every step at a time, but then you get there in the end”
– Matthew

The incredible story of a young man who refuses to let his disability prevent him from pursuing his love of football, and the family who support him.

Director: John Barratt
Producer: Sean Scott
Camera: Thomas Proudfoot
Sound: Alex Hall

Mentored by Ellie Land

In conversation with the Director:
John Barratt

by Sarah Gonnet, Cuckoo Review

I met up with John Barratt in the bar of the Tyneside Cinema, to discuss his documentary film. He is an aspiring feature film director currently taking part in the Northern Stars Documentary Academy, which has allowed him to direct his first documentary. The film is about one of John’s friends, who is fighting against cerebral palsy.

Could you tell me a bit about your film?

The film is about a good friend of mine called Matthew. He is a young man who has cerebral palsy, but his passion is football. The film is about how Matthew used football to recover after a very serious operation; and how it drove him to do even more than before the operation. Football changed his life.

How did you decide that that was what you wanted to make your film about?

I had several ideas at first, but they began to change as I learnt more about documentaries. Originally I wanted to do something about the Paralympics and how the face of disability has changed, using Matthew as a case study. But as we put the groundwork in, we began to realise that the film wasn’t really about the Paralympics. It was about Matthew’s journey.

Did you do a lot of research into documentary films?

Yeah, we watched a lot and we did some workshops, which taught us loads. Personally I am very interested in documentaries. My favourite documentary is Ken Burns’ The Civil War. It has all these old photographs and Lincoln’s diary. It’s class.

What is your favourite thing about the film?

I like that it’s about Matthew: the way that the other people in the crew got to know him, and that people who watch the film will also get to know him. His struggle is very inspirational and emotional. He went from being unable to walk, to being an avid sportsman.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I suppose if I say L.A. that’s a bit too forward? Everyone says they want to be a film director, but that’s what I want to do. It’s far away but I can hope!