Netflix documentary hopes for Horndean man who has overcome medical odds to survive

A Horndean man with a remarkable medical history is joining up with a Portsmouth based filmmaker to create a documentary.

Sunday, 28th February 2021, 11:00 am
Updated Sunday, 28th February 2021, 3:39 pm
Chris Peskett

Chris Peskett, 28, has battled illnesses and conditions including epilepsy, pancreatic cancer and tuberous sclerosis.

Told as a child that he would not reach adulthood because of his medical problems, Chris overcame the odds to marry the love of his life.

Now he plans to share his story in a documentary that he will create with filmmaker Steve Hammal.

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Chris, who contacted Steve after searching the internet for potential directors to work with, said: ‘I’ve wanted to do a documentary or movie about me and my life for a long time, and I was looking for directors on the internet.

‘I found Steve and called him, and he was very interested.’

After Netflix put out an open call for short documentary pitches late last year, the two developed a proposal which they have taken to the streaming service.

Chris Peskett and his wife Kate, pictured before their wedding in 2017 Picture: Keith Woodland.

Steve has been a filmmaker for 20 years, working for ITV Meridian, the BBC and the film industry before launching his own company, Dark Skies Productions, 10 years ago.

He said: ‘When Chris called me, he launched into his story, describing what he’d been through, and it was a rollercoaster ride to listen to.

‘I thought, we’ve had 12 months of despair and depression, doom and gloom, and this guy’s got a very powerful, interesting, and uplifting story.

‘He’s dealt with a lot - tumours, pancreatic cancer - and had to endure more than his fair share of bad luck.’

Despite the odds, Chris married his wife Kate in July 2017 and lives independently with her in Horndean, where he has been based for the last six years.

He said: ‘My kidneys only work at 50 per cent, and my body is covered in tumours, I have two massive ones on the side of my kidneys.

‘My brain tumour is leaning against a vein but I’ve taken medication for three to four years and it is maintaining the size.’

Despite still facing health issues, Chris is determined to inspire others.

Chris said: ‘I don’t like being told “you can’t do this” - it makes me want to do as much or more as people without disabilities.

‘This is a big message I want to get across in the documentary, that we can do just as good a job.

‘I want people with disabilities sitting at home to be able to see other people’s lives and see what we’re able to do.

‘I’ve been waiting to do this for a very long time.’

The proposed documentary will take an in-depth look at Chris’s life, and will include family videos as well as interviews.

Chris said: ‘My mum has old video footage from my childhood, so we can show the happy times as well as the hard times.’

Steve has already visited QA hospital and interviewed Chris’s neuroconsultant, and plans to interview Chris as well as his mum, dad, older brother, and colleagues.

Chris is an artist and volunteers to help people with more severe disabilities at Hewitt’s Community Café in Emsworth.