The Thick of It’s Olivia Poulet and Marcella’s Nicholas Pinnock to star in short film

Nicholas Pinnock at 'Candice' Readthrough. Picture: Turn The Slate Productions & Big Smile Pictures�

Nicholas Pinnock at 'Candice' Readthrough. Picture: Turn The Slate Productions & Big Smile Pictures�. - Credit: Archant:Turn The Slate Productions & Big Smile Pictures�)

Chalk Farm film-maker Alexei Slater is crowdfunding his latest venture based in east London

What brings together the husband of a London detective and special advisor to a particularly sardonic Secretary of State?

A film-maker from Chalk Farm has signed stars from ITV’s Marcella and BBC’s The Thick of It for his latest short film.

Turn the Slate’s Candice, which will star Nicholas Pinnock and Olivia Poulet, is currently looking for funding.

Pinnock recently appeared on TV screens across the country as Jason Backland in ITV’s Marcella and will be joined by Olivia Poulet, best known for her role as advisor Emma Messinger in BBC’s The Thick of It.

Alexei Slater, who formed Turn the Slate productions five years ago, and wrote the script for the film says: “It’s about a woman in her thirties who meets a strange man who turns out to be her neighbour.

“He helps her move into her flat, but then she never sees him. It is quite a subtle film about a fleeting moment in two people’s lives.”

Most Read

The idea for the film was originally planted when working on a different script for submission to a writing competition.

“I don’t usually enter competitions,” Slater says. “There’s only a one in a million chance of winning but the idea was planted at that point.

“I then re-worked it to create something more simple in Candice.”

The casting of two actors that Slater deemed “perfect” for their roles is an exciting prospect for the film-maker, not only in reassuring him of the quality of the project, but also as a means of getting the film noticed by film-festivals and audiences alike.

“It’s always the case when an actor gets back to you and they are really keen on the script that you feel like you are onto something, that you aren’t just imagining the project will work, and both our leads have been really keen.

“It’s also very difficult to get short films out there if they don’t have some sort of unique and special selling point; often this is an actor.

“If you can film a good film with important people – good actors and directors – then you have much more of a chance of getting things seen.”

Having previously spent seven years working for Handmade Films, owned by former Beatles member George Harrison, Slater founded Turn the Slate productions in 2011 to make his first short film ‘82’.

After showing at 60 short film festivals across the world, 82 won 15 awards and went to number one on UK iTunes.

“Turn the Slate was set up for legal reasons when filming 82 but there weren’t many expectations about either the company or the movie.

“Then 82 did really well, winning all sorts of awards, so although there were initially no ambitions for it, the thinking behind that then changed.

“Focusing on the company and taking on new projects became the priority.”

However while the actors have signed on to the project, and the first read through has been completed Slater and Turn the Slate require additional funding in order to complete ‘Candice’.

In order to secure this, they have turned to crowd-funding website Kickstarter to raise the necessary funds.

“The director and I are each putting in money of our own, but we really need to supplement that with the crowd-funded money,” says Slater.

“I don’t think we’ve set a particularly huge target, but there are a lot of costs involved in creating a short film that people don’t realise, such as post production and entry in to festivals.

With the Kickstarter campaign due to end on the 21st August, Turn the Slate productions have reached their £3000 target, but Slater feels that every extra penny will improve the project.

Now that the actors have signed on to the film, Slater and producer Dom Riley are currently looking at shooting locations for ‘Candice’ based in east London.

“We’ve one particular location in London, Roman Road, that we are looking at. Our director George Watson is currently based there and he thinks it would work great with the script.

“Dom is currently in the process of locking all that down, but it is always a bit more difficult to get access to places at night.”

Alexei Slater is crowdfunding for Candice at