Dewsbury filmmaker premieres debut short film 'The Pact' at iconic Leeds Industrial Museum

Paul Sutton, a 49-year-old actor from Dewsbury, has just finished filming his writing/directing debut and premiered the event at a local cinema.
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The Pact - a 30-minute short filmed in Birstall, Morley and Woodkirk - was given its first screening on Sunday (November 5) at Leeds Industrial Museum. After the premiere, the film now starts a worldwide tour of film festivals prior to an online release.

You may have seen Paul on your TV, but you may not remember him. Paul is one of many hundreds of supporting artists (or “extras”) that fill the background of big name productions, with Emmerdale, No Offence, Moorside and Little Boy Blue on his resume.

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By day, Paul is an admin worker in the NHS - but in his free time Paul loves being, as he puts it, "a little different”.

The official poster for The Pact, by Dewsbury filmmaker Paul SuttonThe official poster for The Pact, by Dewsbury filmmaker Paul Sutton
The official poster for The Pact, by Dewsbury filmmaker Paul Sutton

Pre-Covid, Paul wrote a short film as he took a break from acting due to the birth of his son, Luke. Now, post-Covid, he has spent the last year filming The Pact.

"It's been a real labour of love getting this made,” says Paul.

"We're in the middle of a cost of living crisis and money has never been tighter. The cast and crew have given their time for nothing more than the chance to tell a good story.

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"I think I blew the budget on sausage rolls the first day of filming!”

The film, set in the local area in the present day, is a thriller centred around three women (played by Yorkshire actors Danni Shepherd, Ellen Carnazza and Lucy Oke) coming to a crossroads in their lives, and realising drastic changes are needed for them to escape their awful husbands.

They make a pact - but how far are they willing to go to be free?

Paul managed to persuade local businesses such as Gomersal Park Hotel, Kelly Designs and The Greedy Duck (Morley) to let him use their premises for the film, and based on the trailer (which you can find at Pact Trailer on YouTube) it's very dark and tense - full of Northern grit and intriguing characters.

So where did Paul get the idea?

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"I wanted to write a film with strong female characters but really don't like films where a girl next door turns into a machine gun wielding assassin in 20 minutes,” he said.

"I wanted it to feel realistic even if it stretched the imagination. Everything in the film is possible - and it made my Google search history interesting for a while!”

After Sunday's premiere, the film will be entered into worldwide festivals. From there, Paul is writing a full length film which will also be filmed locally in 2024.

Follow the film on X (@PactMovie2023) for future showings and updates.

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