The Awareness Film Festival Shows Mercy
The Awareness Film Festival Shows Mercy, the Powerful Docudrama by UK Actress Wendy Morgan
Film Unveils the Devastation Caused by Animal Agriculture as Seen Through the Eyes of a Pig Named Mercy and All Those Trapped in the Factory Farming Industry
To cap off its over yearlong festival run, the gripping docudrama feature Mercy, written and directed by UK-based actress Wendy Morgan, has been named an official selection of the 12th edition of the Awareness Film Festival, scheduled from October 21 to 31, 2021 at the Regal Cinemas in downtown Los Angeles. Organized by the non-profit Heal One World, the annual festival places the spotlight on filmmakers whose works make positive changes throughout the world.
The film tells the tragic story of the life and death of a factory farmed pig named Mercy, played by Maria Austin, and the devastation caused by ‘animal agriculture’. (*animal agriculture, or factory farming, is the mass industrialization of the breeding, raising, and slaughter of animals for human consumption.)
In her hidden world, those who Mercy encounters on her journey from factory farm to slaughterhouse are changed forever. As our world teeters on the precipice of ecological destruction, the heart of Mercy’s story is empathy across communities, across all species and the hope to see the dawn of universal change.
Official trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd8kar0gGm8
Morgan, an accomplished actress, discusses her reason for making the film: “I’ve been an actor all of my adult life, 43 years and happily counting, lucky to have worked in some extraordinary places with some extraordinary people. But Mercy was a slight detour from the world of being ‘just an actor.’ I am in films but have never made my own. I even tried not to make this film, for fear that it might simply prove too difficult. My dear friend Tim Pigott-Smith said to me after reading a draft of Mercy: “You write as if your pen is bleeding… try writing something you aren’t so passionate about.” I did try, but thoughts of Mercy kept bursting through and rather than me writing something else, Mercy seemed to write me.”
The film stars Maria Austin (The Reverend and Mrs. Simpson – in post-production) in the role of Mercy, as well as Mark Wingett (Quadrophenia, EastEnders), Annette Badland (Ted Lasso, Doctors, EastEnders), John Pickering, Catherine Shipton, and Wendy Morgan (Yanks, Mrs. Lowry and Son with Vanessa Redgrave)
The film, which includes horrific, real-life footage of the atrocities occurring in slaughterhouses, was made with the purpose to shine a light on the mental and physical effect on workers within the animal agriculture industry; the link between animal agriculture and climate change; the link between factory farming, pandemics and zoonotic diseases; the living conditions of factory farmed animals; and the need for independently monitored CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
The film’s executive producers are Carol Royle, Christopher Guard, Richard Deboo, David Wilkinson and Mili Cumic. Charity and non-profit partners include Viva!, Compassion in World Farming, Animal Aid, Animal Equality, and Plant Based Treaty.
Mercy will have its Los Angeles premiere on October 31st at 4 p.m. PST at Regal Cinemas (1000 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015).
Morgan and Austin have also been invited to speak in-person on the festival panel Only One Earth/Activism, taking place on October 28th at 5:00 p.m. PST.
Award-winning actress Wendy Morgan’s international career spans 43 years, working alongside some of the most renowned names in the industry. Her film work includes the role of Mollie in John Schlesinger’s Yanks (Richard Gere) for which she received the Evening Standard Most Promising Newcomer Award; Mrs. Lowry and Son (Vanessa Redgrave); The Reverend and Mrs. Simpson (Julian Glover, Game of Thrones – set for release in 2022); 84 Charing X Road (Anthony Hopkins); Edie (Dame Sheila Hancock); The Mirror Crack’d (Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Landsbury, Tony Curtis); and Birth of the Beatles. Wendy’s TV work includes The Jewel in the Crown (Charles Dance); Fingersmith (Sally Hawkins); Pictures; Shine on Harvey Moon; The Commander; Midsomer Murders; Doctors, Emmerdale; Wire in the Blood; The Other Wife (Rupert Everett); and Full Stretch. Her theatre work includes The National Theatre: Streetcar Named Desire (Glenn Close); Phedre (Dame Helen Mirren); N.T. Sir Peter Hall Company: Coriolanus (Sir Ian Mckellen); Yonadab (Sir Patrick Stewart; Anthony Head; Sir Alan Bates); Martine (Laurence Olivier & Standard Best Actress Nominations); Animal Farm; Hatched and Dispatched (Best Supporting Actress, The Offies); and Henry IV (parts I & II). Recent online Shakespearean work includes Puck in Jenny Hall’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens); and TSMGO’s: Queen Margaret in Richard III (Best Supporting Actress Online Awards.) Wendy is represented by London agents Jo Hole Associates.
Maria Austin is an English/Irish actress who trained at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Institute in New York. She plays the title role in Mercy, her first feature film role. She also has a supporting role in the upcoming feature film The Reverend and Mrs Simpson alongside Julian Glover (Game of Thrones), set for release in 2022. Maria has recently been filming a proof-of-concept project for a new feature film, written and directed by Priyanga Burford (No Time To Die), playing mathematician Countess Ada Lovelace opposite Anastasia Hille, Pearl Chanda and Sammy Kamara. Further selected credits include Inside Secret Societies (The Discovery Channel), Second Skin (Short Film), Mister Paradise (Trafalgar Studios, West End), Loot (Century Theatre), Puppy (Theatre). She is represented by London Agents, Mostyn & Cross.
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