‘Working the Sea’ tells the story of Sidmouth’s fishing heritage by following one resilient family, the Bagwells from the war years onwards through romance and tragedy. As the women in the family pick up the pieces, it also weaves contemporary users of the coast (from the lifeboat to the sailing club) into the narrative. So this is ultimately a story of how a mutual love and respect for the sea draws a community together.
We (Butterfly Effect Films) were approached by Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub CIC originally to make a film on their creative workshops with schools. But what really interested Simon and I was the resilient and inspirational Bagwell family, how they had started out from nothing – a fishing family ‘too poor to own their own boat’ and built a strong fishing business, only to be hit by tragedy and yet come out the other side. The CIC came back to us with some funding to make this story, with the brief that we also include the history of the fishing village and other contemporary users of the beach from the sailing club to the sea fest. From the wonderful audience reaction and comments at our premiere I think we pulled it off!
Client: Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub CIC
Producer: Jo Stewart-Smith
Director of Photography: Simon Vacher