After a long period of sporadic sprints during downtime, and then a bit of a pause for er ... a global pandemic ... we’re very pleased to (finally) announce the grand unveiling of our short documentary, (The Lost Found) Boy Man Bunny, premiering at Raindance Film Festival at the end of this month.
“Look up in the sky. You see a plane, and the plane is like the claw. It comes down and it takes a child… that child could be your best friend… and, they’ve gone, never to be seen again. Where did they go? I just don’t understand … But I want to go on the plane”.
What happens when you take an abandoned Brazilian street kid from the favelas of Salvador, and drop him into privileged English society? Three decades later, Pablo is still trying to figure things out.
Back in 2017, our short, I Shot Einstein, — featuring local veteran photojournalist, Marilyn Stafford — was doing well on the festival circuit. Off the back of that, we’d been keeping our eyes peeled for someone interesting in the neighbourhood to go out and film. My partner suggested I talk to The Disco Bunny — an unusual street performer, who was gathering a bit of buzz on her social media.
Out of the blue, a couple of weeks later, I tripped over a spandex dazzle of colour sitting on my front step, as I was returning from the shop with a pint of milk. It was Pablo Woodward aka The Disco Bunny himself, furiously Instagramming his broken down Bunny mobile. I sent him inside with the milk, and waited with glee for my partner’s scream.
We followed Pablo for a while to see what story would present itself. Watching him dance to his boombox, he seemed to invoke a collective madness on the grey streets of Britain — like some exotic alien from another planet with a magic kill-switch for British reserve. It turned out that at the age of six, he had actually arrived from a very different world.
What I love the most about Boy Man Bunny is that it has levels. What begins as a vignette about a colourful street performer quickly reveals layers that touch on themes of identity, race, the meaning of family, the hunger for fame, the English class system, homophobia, abandonment and hope, as Pablo tries to recreate his unremembered former life as a street kid from the favelas of Salvador.
Sometimes you love him. Sometimes he drives you mad. But like Pablo himself, the film flips back and forth from light to dark, frequently catching you off guard, but never straying too far from the pure joy that The Disco Bunny can bring out in us all.
(The Lost Found) Boy Man Bunny can be seen through Raindance’s shorts programme from 27th October to 6th November. It’s in the official selection at Cinecity, screening at the beautiful Fabrica venue in Brighton on the 8th November, and is also playing at the International Strasburg Film Festival in the US next month.