Written by Joe Inman
“Reality is not always probable, or likely.” – Jorge Luis Borges
Attempting to understand your local area through the stories told within its past and present, is foolhardy. Small Change’s new film, Stories & Lies, is therefore foolhardy.
The culmination of three years living in Penryn and Falmouth, Stories & Lies, focuses on how transient residents relate to their surroundings. The film attempts to use both documentary interview and recreation, to explore some of the stories throughout the area.
From grand historical narratives, such as Lady Trelawny’s escape from Falmouth and refuge in Penryn, to the small but vital work done by community outreach programmes, Stories & Lies creates the space for both to sit side by side, hopefully recreating the feeling of discovery that comes from moving to a new place, rich in culture and storytelling.
This journey began when director Joe Inman and a team from Falmouth University, put on the play 1994 in the Stuart Stephen Memorial Hall in Penryn last April. Wanting to create an original production, they decided that it was imperative to use a local council space in the hope of inspiring people to put on local, accessible art that bridged the gap between resident and student.
The play was a success and from there, the decision was to continue and expand this method of working. Therefore the decision was to make a film; shifting the role of director to that of curator of research gathered through interviews and historical writing. This allowed the crew to immerse themselves in the gathering of stories from Penryn and Falmouth, creating links between the community and the student-led crew.
It is important that the issues surrounding the universities place, in both Penryn and Falmouth, are faced head on. The student body, as well as residents and staff, need to be vocal in their solidarity for one another, continually exploring the dialogue surrounding issues inherent in any town with many transient residents. As Falmouth University is an arts school, the best tools we, as students, have is to construct our dialogue using art. More than accepting the residents as an audience, students should utilise the incredible and diverse anthropological and ethnographic elements of Falmouth and Penryn, working with the local residents rather than working for them.
It is in this spirit that Stories & Lies attempts to move beyond the usual confines of documentary filmmaking. The film, a love letter to time spent in Cornwall, will be screened locally, hopefully engaging students to produce content regarding the local area and enabling residents to benefit more from students that come to Cornwall. The film will also go into National and International short film and Documentary festivals. This exposure will allow the filmmakers to expand the project into a feature film.
If you wish to help fund the project visit their kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/storiesandlies/stories-and-lies-1