In development with iFeatures (BFI, BBC, Creative England), 'Apostasy' will be the only English-language feature film of its kind to deal with the Jehovah's Witness faith

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As one of eight projects selected for development by iFeatures - the UK’s most exciting low budget feature film initiative - 'Apostasy' will be the only English-language feature film of its kind to deal with the Jehovah's Witness faith. The filmmakers are asking potential audiences and partners to 'like' their official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/apostasyfilm

As one of eight projects selected for development by iFeatures - the UK’s most exciting low budget feature film initiative - 'Apostasy' will be the only English-language feature film of its kind to deal with the Jehovah's Witness faith.

"I’ve had a lifelong interest in the Jehovah’s Witnesses even after I grew up and moved away from family members involved in the religion," said Dan Kokotajlo, a self-taught director based in Manchester, who left the faith aged 21. "Their inner workings and how their teachings affect people continue to intrigue me."

Notable documentaries tackle this topic including the recently released American film 'Truth Be Told', as does Niels Arden Oplev's 2008 Danish drama, 'Worlds Apart'. However, this will be the only English-language fictional film to address the difficulty in leaving the faith and the pain caused by shunning or ‘disfellowshipping’.

"Common to most people who try to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses is the way in which the religion breaks up the family. People are taught that God’s love is more important than family," explains Kokotajlo. "On a bigger scale, I want to explore what faith really means to people today and why it exists."

In February, only three of the remaining eight iFeatures projects will be selected to each receive a budget of £350,000 to bring their film to the big screen. Creative England, the BFI and BBC Films will fully finance the films, with the BBC pre-buying UK television rights. To improve their chances of receiving the full funding, the filmmakers behind 'Apostasy' are asking supporters and potential partners to 'like' their official Facebook page by 1 February 2015 at http://www.facebook.com/apostasyfilm.

"We've asked people to share their stories about their experiences of the Jehovah's Witness faith, most of which have been very emotional and, in turns, upsetting and inspiring," said Marcie MacLellan, the film's producer. "Supporters from around the world, particularly within the UK and the US, have told us that this story needs to be told."

To show your support, please 'like' this film at http://www.facebook.com/apostasyfilm.

For additional details, visit: http://www.ifeatures.co.uk/apostasy2.html.

For more information, contact Marcie MacLellan at incontextproductions(at)gmail(dot)com or 011-44 (0) 07437874125

ABOUT APOSTASY
White sisters Nat (22) and Max (19) are devoted to each other and to their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their mission is to convert the large Pakistani community of Oldham (England) before Judgment Day. But when Nat survives a severe car accident, she discovers her sister allowed her a blood transfusion. Nat’s life is thrown into turmoil. Max refuses to repent, so Nat and the congregation have no choice but to cast her out. Pained by the decision, Nat becomes troubled by terrifying images of worldly destruction. When the great day of Armageddon is finally announced, Nat is determined to lead her sister back into the light. But Nat’s increasing efforts to save Max draw her into a world of uncertainty and confusion. Nat must decide if the depth of her love for her sister is strong enough to defy her God Jehovah.

Apostasy is written by Charlotte Wise, directed by Dan Kokotajlo and produced by Marcie MacLellan (http://www.incontextproductions.com) and Mike Elliot (http://www.emufilms.com).

ABOUT iFEATURES
iFeatures is Creative England’s low budget filmmaking initiative supported by the BBC, the BFI and Creative Skillset. Now in its third iteration, iFeatures continues its commitment to developing excellence in micro/low budget production and to ensuring that the most dynamic ideas and voices reach their fullest potential. iFeatures is aimed at creative talent that has some professional experience and whose work has already garnered positive industry or public attention. Applicants should be able to evidence a successful track record in shorts, television/online drama, theatre, commercials, music promos, documentary, Artist Film & Video and/or other related media.

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Marcie MacLellan
Incontext Productions
+44 7437874125
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