Paused: A Short Film
in Partnership With Tell

Sophie Burton
Sophie Burton

April 21st, 2022

Illustration by Ivo Bright

Paused is a short film, produced in partnership with Tell and directed and co-written by our very own Erin Bannister. Several familiar faces from the Tell team are involved with Joey as DoP, Alex doing sound and Scott as the editor.

With the film exploring themes of female fertility and societal expectations on womanhood, Erin and her co-writer / producer Emma knew from the start that they wanted to showcase something they’d seen little exposure of before. From hearing a family story of a grandmother going through early menopause, their research led them to realise that this experience is far more common than any of us realise. They decided they wanted the film to explore ‘what it’s like for a woman to find out her fertility is compromised and how it might make her feel’.

Read the official synopsis below…

After a series of related symptoms, 24-year-old Eve begings to think she’s
pregnant, only for a doctor to reveal that she is experiencing early menopause.Despite initial reluctance to address her feelings, the news forces Eve to seek support from others and explore what it truly means to be a woman.

From the film’s description, it’s clear that the story is extremely powerful and important. Despite being a topic that’s rarely discussed, POI (Premature Ovarian Insufficiency) is something that a considerable population of young women are experiencing. Evidently, it’s a story that needs to be told.

The team have worked in close collaboration with ‘The Daisy Network’, one of the UK’s leading early menopause/ POI charities and the script has been created in dialogue with representatives who have experienced this first hand. Erin and Emma were both very keen to chat to young women going through early menopause about their outlook on life and how it has changed their views.

‘Would it change your perspective on womanhood? Would you feel as though people might view you differently?’ These are the kind of questions Erin found herself asking throughout the writing process that have shaped the project. She said, ‘I think the pressures for women to have children are a really interesting topic to write about because we live in a time now where it’s almost been long enough for us to see past it and understand that not everyone wants to have children and that’s okay. Yet still there are these underlying social pressures that make us think this might not be a good idea, like it’s our destiny.’

According to The Daisy Network, ‘Approximately one in every 100 women under the age of 40, one in 1,000 women under 30 and one in 10,000 under 20 experience POI.’ There’s also still not a clear understanding of what causes it, and in 90% of women, there’s no underlying cause to be found. It’s terrifying to think how many people this happens to, and because there’s such little awareness of it, how tough it must be to go through it alone. It’s fantastic to see topics such as this brought to life through the arts, shining a much needed spotlight on issues that have been neglected in the mainstream for far too long.

The team are filming over the coming weekend (22nd - 25th April) with the finished film due to be released in the summer. We can’t wait to see the finished project! Here at Tell, we’re really excited about being involved in this project and we love being able to support creatives in their quest to make new work, especially when it’s on important topics such as this. We’ve got members of our team on the shoot and in the editing process, it’s a truly collaborative partnership and we couldn’t be more proud of Erin and her team!

To learn more about POI and early menopause you can find information on The Daisy Network website.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for exclusive behind the scenes updates and topical content coming soon! You also can follow the official Paused Instagram account @paused_film.