The Present, a short film about a woman’s emotional journey to work.

Last year I took part in a film making project with the community group ‘Arts and Minds of Leeds.  A few of us, who were new to film-making were involved in this creative project which culminated in our short films being shown as part of last years Love Arts festival and The Leeds Film Festival – Film to Change event.

My film had a theme of emotional well-being and is about a woman who is struggling to manage stress and unhelpful patterns of thinking – which is causing her to be unhappy. However she manages to find some respite from this,   watch and you shall find out….


The Present she unwraps is actually a gift which allows her to become more aware of  The Present moment.  We can worry about the future, ruminate about the past and dwell upon problems to the extent that it interferes with our quality of life and decreases our sense of well-being. This kind of thinking can be all-consuming and leave little space for anything else,  which may leave us feeling depleted and stressed. Research has shown that purposefully paying attention to the present moment is a technique which can help to manage this. Once the woman in the film has opened the present – she is then able to appreciate the beautiful roses on her desk that she previously hadn’t noticed.

It’s not always easy to change the way we think or to manage difficult emotions but there are techniques which can help. I had recently attended a Mindfulness Meditation Course which was the inspiration behind the film.

Sophie MacWhannell is the actress who played the woman in the film.  She is Leeds-based, very talented, passionate and extremely supportive.  I am going to plug Sophie because she was so fantastic !  Not only has she acted in various plays and short films but she also performs as part of a comedy improvisation group called Monkeyheads AND is part of *Urban Sprawl.  She recently performed with Urban Sprawl in the play;  ‘Wrecked’ which was also part of the Love Arts Leeds festival. So if you need a talented and dedicated actress – look Sophie up!

Thanks also to Carl Allport, who was the course tutor and teaches at Leeds Metropolitan University, to Arts and Minds and also to Inkwell.   Also thanks to everyone else who took part whose names are in the credits, it was very collaborative and nice to work in a great team.

Hope you enjoyed it, would love any feedback, thanks Vicky 🙂

Also If you are interested in taking part in the making of a film contact Arts and Minds.

*Urban Sprawl is Yorkshire’s only homeless theatre company. Formed in August 2004, we are committed towards using theatre as an arts engagement tool to help people affected by homelessness and related issues.Urban Sprawl meet every Monday at Multiple Choice 5-8 pm.If your interested in finding out more email us at


11 thoughts on “The Present, a short film about a woman’s emotional journey to work.

  1. Wow, Vicky,what a great post and film, it shows what a pool of really talented and resourceful people we have in Leeds and on the LWB blog! It is inspiring to see that despite experiencing emotional difficulties and stress, the creative urge is alive and well! Both the acting and the mindfulness courses look like innovative ways of addressing some of the serious personal disadvantages many face.


  2. Thanks Sue, glad you liked it. Thanks for your lovely comment, I think sometimes being creative or doing something uplifting can really help. Mindfulness is also good and helps to sit with emotions and let them pass.
    Cheers Vicky x


  3. I enjoyed watching this film. It makes the point powerfully. I’m sure I’ve missed so many good things that were right under my nose, through not living in the present moment. I love the word-play on ‘present’ as in the present moment, and ‘present’ as in the gift that opens up her awareness of the present moment.


  4. It’s a beautiful film Vicky. I love the acting and the powerful use of music, also the contrast between the very still moments in the flat (like when she opens the fridge) and the hectic scenes outside. The ending is really powerful with the colour of the roses and the sound of that cello. I think you’ve a talent for saying complicated things by choosing a few simple images.


  5. Thanks Jean and Terry for your comments. I think when I am stressed it’s easy to miss things in life. Stress Management/awareness is so important. Thanks for your feedback on the word play, and also the imagery. Glad you enjoyed it.


  6. Hi Vicky, this is an awesome video that i’d love to use as a related text for my English essay. Are you the main composer? If so, could you please give me your full name? Thanks so much 😉


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