Dream Agency

A Forest Fringe film

A woman travels to an island to employ the services of a strange agency that re-enacts people’s dreams. During a re-enactment of her own dream the woman is so captivated by one of the agency’s company of actors that she decides to stay and begin working for the agency in order to enable her to remain close by. As she is drawn further and further into the enigmatic and ramshackle world of the dream agency, she begins to question her own desires, dreams and self-delusions.

DREAM AGENCY is the first narrative feature film by the award-winning UK performance collective Forest Fringe. Developed through a programme of free open access workshops, written collaboratively by a team of over 20 artists and writers, and performed by members of the collective alongside local volunteers, this project represents an attempt to playfully democratise the filmmaking process whilst still delivering a compelling story – a surreal romance beautifully shot by director of photography Luciana Riso amongst the clifftops and beaches of the island of Jersey.


After we finished our 10 year run hosting an award-winning free performance space at the Edinburgh Festival, Forest Fringe was looking for a new project. Something as vast and unknown as running a venue felt when we began back in 2007. 

We had always been film lovers and many Forest Fringe projects had played with the idea of film, including Live at the Scale, a microfestival of performance we created in an art-deco cinema in Bangkok, and Forest Fringe Will Make All Your Dreams Come True, a project for Latitude Festival and Freespace Hong Kong in which we turned people’s dreams into black and white super 8 films. For this reason we decided we would make a film. A proper full length feature film to be written, directed and performed by members of the Forest Fringe community, alongside anyone else interested in joining us. 

We were interested in becoming amateurs in the world of cinema. Amateur comes from the Italian amatore (lover) and we were doing this for the love of it, for the love of film and the love making things. But we were also doing it because in that uncertain space between the professional and the amateur, between established live artists and hobbyist filmmakers, we believed there was the potential for another kind of work, and another way of relating to each other.

We began the project with a year long Amateurs Club, hosted by Somerset House Studios – a monthly open-access DIY film school, through which we gathered our community of amateur enthusiasts to learn from a range of film professionals. 

At the conclusion of this we came together over a weekend to co-devise a story for our film, which was then written collectively over several months by members of the Forest Fringe community, guided by our co-directors Andy Field, Deborah Pearson and Ira Brand. 

The film itself was shot on Jersey, with the support of ArtHouse Jersey, who produced the project. We shot for four weeks, guided by the knowledge and experience of cinematographer Luciana Riso, first assistant camera Julian Lalinde and sound recordist and sound designer Eliran Sivan. Once the film was shot we worked with editor Greg Oke and colourist Mike Myshko. 

The experience was hard in all the right ways. The learning curve steep but exhilarating. And equally importantly the feeling we had being there together, living, eating, performing, was exactly the breathless, slightly chaotic but profoundly fulfilling experience that we remembered from the earliest days of Forest Fringe in Edinburgh. It felt like a homecoming of sorts. A reminder of why we love making things and what it felt like when that was all that seemed to matter. 

The film itself was completed in Spring 2022 and has begun to be submitted to festivals. We will update here when we have any further information about public screenings. 

We hope this will not be our last experiment in the world of narrative filmmaking. 

For more information contact andy@forestfringe.co.uk


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