Ascent - Short Film

Ascent follows three intertwining stories; an artist, struggling to gain inspiration and formulate her ideas onto the page; a young man, feeling the pressures of his work; and a young woman, battling alcoholism and undergoing counselling. The story is grounded by one painting, representing navigation and the marks we leave on each other’s lives; Ascent explores the desire to access something higher and out of reach.

The film features several award-winning venues such as the Condé Nast Johansens 2019 and 2020 "Best UK Wedding Venue" The Deer Park Country House, and the Thelma Hulbert Art Gallery

The film surpassed its initial £1000 crowdfunding goal within 48 hours, currently sitting at 258%. It is now entering the post-production process, working with a team of composers to produce and record an original score.

All cast and crew have completed and obtained COVID safety certificates from ScreenSkills. The designated COVID safety officer in the team ensures the production complies with government filming guidelines


Creative Direction​







Deer Park Country House

Thelma Hulbert Art Gallery


Director / Producer / Editor: Daiki Shinomiya

Director / Writer: Leoni Fretwell

Director of Photography: Alex Giles

Assistant Director: Charlotte Weston

Assistant Director: Isabel Harrison

Audio: Adam Clark

First AC: Deniz Akbayir

Original Score: Robin Wright & Alexei Peters

Cast: Angus Thomson, Julia Vredenberg, Anna Goodmaker, Lauren Ewer, Sian Ostler

Casting Directors: Roisin McCay-Hines & Ray Koh

Therapy Consultant: Nik Sutherland


Independently producing a complex short film during a pandemic.

To provide students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the film industry, I decided to direct and produce a short film. The ultimate aim of this project is to connect young creatives and produce a meaningful piece of cinema that lasts long in memory. 

Despite this being my first narrative film and produced during an ongoing pandemic, I managed to secure stand-out locations, complete production without the need for reshoots, and most importantly, cultivated new creative collaborations.

We are currently in the editing and composing phase of the film. Stay tuned for more updates!

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