PORTSMOUTH barber Chris Jupp cuts films when he isn’t cutting hair – and has become an award-winning movie producer.
Chris, 52, who runs M Cutting in Kingston Road, Portsmouth, scooped Best National Film Award at the renowned Making Waves film festival.
Chris has been making films for more than 10 years as a hobby alongside his day job as a barber.
His most recent film To Whoever Finds My Body, released by his own company Fat Finger Films, was given a charity screening at the Odeon at Port Solent, raising more than £1,300 for mental health charity Mind.
In his films he tries to use local people and composers, all of whom work for free, and locations from around Portsmouth and Chichester. And as time has gone on, he said: ‘Slowly the films have got better.’
To Whoever Finds My Body’ was filmed on the roof of Portsmouth Civic Offices.
Tackling issues like sexual harrassment and suicide, it tells the story of a a young model, portrayed by Maisie Bell Elliot, being taken advantage of by a fashion photographer and is left on the ‘studio roof’ after the incident. Here she meets a young man, played by Declan Murphy who previously appeared in the Queen’s Theatre production of Les Miserables, who is about to commit suicide.
Chris said: ‘I wanted this film to have a potency with the audience and for them to leave thinking it’s “really good to talk” as in a way, through talking, these characters save each other.
‘I hope the film may do some good for those struggling.’
Although it is rated 15, in the future he wants it to be shown in schools and colleges.
Chris said: ‘It started as a simple idea which just grew. That tends to happen, when you’re writing a film.
‘Sometimes things just evolve into something huge. I’ll be ‘cutting hair and thinking of a film.’
The film was entered into the Making Waves Festival, which supports and exhibits pioneering works by international talent and local independent film-makers, maximising opportunities to develop skills in film-making, distribution and events.
Films are judged by a panel of industry experts. This year it included Tony Steyger, an Emmy award-winning documentary producer and director, Dominique Young who was formerly a senior producer based in Al Jazeera’s English bureau in London and Steve McDonnell, an award-winning current affairs documentary maker.
The ceremony was held at the Wedgewood Rooms by Trash Arts and hosted by Omar Jose Lm.
Chris praised it as ‘one of the best local film festivals’ and said that due to the quality of the opposition his team were not ‘optimistic.
He said: ‘We thought Best Local was the best we could hope for, but winning Best National has made me so proud, I couldn’t be more chuffed.
‘I want to say a huge thank you to the cast, Maisie Bell Elliot, Declan Murphy, Kate Faulkner and Phil Lyndon, and crew Mike Reed, Simon Bedford and Mark Oakley, for their amazing contributions and hard work.’
Odeon cinema and Chris pulled out all the stops on December 10 for an evening of Hollywood-style glamour to showcase his film, with champagne on arrival and black tie attire.
Chris has another film in the pipeline, Forbidden Fruit, essentially a modern-day version of Adam and Eve, with rural Petersfield standing in for the Garden of Eden.