For Love Not Money

Client/Brand Connected Pictures

Campaign Ripening

Food is such an important narrative for me. I still connect it with the best and worst things that have ever happened in my life.

In 2005 we made a ten-part documentary for the BBC about chef Oliver Rowe, setting up a restaurant in Kings Cross and sourcing all his food from within London. The series was a global success, showing around the world for many years after. Since then, the seasonal and local food landscape has exploded. Last year Oliver wrote a book called ‘A Food for All Seasons’ about his relationship with food.

Director Stephen Ashwell and Producer Miriam Van Emst went to make a film to talk about his journey to today.


Client/Brand Connected Pictures

Campaign Hannah: Buddhism's Untold Journey

The excellently crafted film led the spellbound audience from fascination to tears.

Buddhism’s Untold Journey’ tells the story of Hannah Nydahl and her adventure bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West. It is a compelling story spanning 6 decades exploring the idealism of the 60’s, Tibetan Buddhism and its rapid growth around the world and a political saga involving the Communist Chinese.

We filming locations included Darjeeling, Sonada and Bodhagaya (Buddha’s birth place) in India, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Spain and of course Denmark. We then worked with Sundance and Emmy award winning editor Simon Barker and Hamish Lyons for over a year to bring the film together. The result is a film that has won awards and accolades all over the world. And which Huffington Post described as an “excellently crafted film [which] led the spellbound audience from fascination to tears.”

Since then it has screened over 150 times, to an audience of around 16,000 people and counting. Currently it can be found on Netflix USA with with European DVD distribution is planned for later this year.

All profits from the film go to support a Buddhist charity based in Hannah’s home country of Denmark.


Client/Brand UN Women

Campaign HeforShe Arts Week

“I am Sadiq Khan, I am the mayor of London, and I am HeforShe.”

We were approached by UN Women to help create content surrounding their first HeForShe Arts Week London. This was a unique opportunity for us to document the arts and cultural institutions in London supporting the advancement of gender equality. The event tied into the global campaign which was running in New York, Paris, Reykjavik, San Paolo and Bangkok.

With no budget and reliant solely on the back of its dedicated staff and volunteers, HeForShe, the UN’s gender equality program was an opportunity to stand up for issues we so often ignore. This was a special cause and creatively we had a lot of freedom as long as the films sat within the UN’s guidelines.

We came up with The Advert, a quote, from a British female literary hero, Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room To Ones Own’. We felt this worked well because art both reflects and influences culture. Therefore in partnership with artists and art institutions, UN Women’s HeForShe campaign can evolve the behavior, norms and perceptions that shape our cultural view of gender.

We also made short documentary films which discussed important issues surrounding gender equality and featured celebrities such as Gillian Anderson and James McVey and featured locations such as the British Museum, Sadlers Wells and the Globe.

We are extremely proud of the work we created especially considering our budgetary constraints. To quote Laura Haynes, Chair of UN Women UK ‘”You were quite simply, fantastic! Not only were you amazing at filming, interviewing and capturing what was going on, but you really helped to bring the whole thing to life and felt as much a part of Arts Week as the performers.”

We feel grateful to have contributed to this worth while cause and look forward to continuing our work with UN Women in the future.

Here is the trailer for the film.


Client/Brand Magic Bus

Campaign The Invisible Population

"My first was a miscarriage, the second child was stillborn. Then, finally I managed to go full term and gave birth. By then I think I was 14 years old.”

When we first heard about Magic Bus we were awestruck at the amount of work this one small charity was doing. Based primarily in India, the organization was started by Mathew Spacie. Mathew’s central concern was that young girls, some of them pre-teen were being expected to marry at such an early age. This expectation goes back many generations. Seen as second class citizens, the girls are treated as servants, are not given an education and have to fight aggressive male domination, beatings and heinous rape.

Mathew’s first action for his new charity was to buy a school bus, then venture off to remote villages in order to bring some level of education to the girls. Since then their activities have become very diverse.

Peter Penny, the co-founder of Connected Pictures and Director, JP Lewis, were tasked to research and document the invisible community of adolescent girls in India. We are pleased to report that things are changing. Slowly, but they are changing. They met several Magic Bus student girls who were determined not to get caught up in the cycle and their mothers are supportive. They are determined to become pillars of the community and will study to become teachers, doctors, police officers and lawyers.

Over the past 17 years Magic Bus has expanded, first to 3,000 children in Mumbai and then over 350,000 across India. The charity has grown substantially, but its essence remains the same as it did on that first Saturday in 1999. Now, instead of an actual bus trip, children are taken on a wider journey of development that affects every part of their childhood and the lives of whole communities.


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