Former Steyning student’s work at BFI film festival

Phil Lott with Jen McGowan at the BFI London Film Festival
Phil Lott with Jen McGowan at the BFI London Film Festival

STEYNING cinematographer Phil Lott saw his work on the big screen at the BFI London Film Festival last weekend.

The first British screening of the new feature film, Kelly and Cal, on which Phil was director of photography, was shown alongside the world’s best new films in cinemas across London.

Phil worked closely with the director, Jen McGowan, to set the look of the film, which stars Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston and Cybill Shepherd.

Born in Shoreham, Phil went to primary school there before moving to Steyning, where he was a student at Steyning Grammar School.

He now lives in Los Angeles and was in London just for the weekend, flying in from Australia before returning to America.

His father, David Lott, said Phil had worked in film since his teens and studied film at Westminster University.

Phil now films and directs for TV and cinema and has worked successfully with Jen on a number of short films and commercials. “We both know how the other thinks, so we can set up scenes easily without long discussion,” said Phil. “It’s a real pleasure working with Jen.”

Kelly and Cal, which was shot in suburban New York, tells of a punk-rocker turned suburban mum, nostalgic for a life she can no longer have and uncertain of a future in which she does not yet fit.

Cal is a frustrated 17-year-old and the two strike up an unlikely friendship, which becomes the perfect spark needed to thrust them both back to life.

Phil said the screenings at the London Film Festival were extremely well received.

The audience greeted Kelly and Cal’s thought-provoking storyline with both laughter and a few tears.

Comments included ‘Gorgeous, smart, truthful, funny with so much heart’, ‘really loved it’ and ‘a delicious film’.

Kelly and Cal is already on release in America and it is hoped it will be in cinemas in the UK soon.

Phil added: “Perhaps we can even get it shown in Steyning!”