Caroline directs, writes and co-produces at Mousehole Films with Ade Bean. They are currently working on three documentary features, filmed and edited by Gabriel Bean and Danny Bean (2 x Highly Commended Filmaker in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018).
'The Village on the Loch' is currently on the Festival circuit: Directed/Written/Narrated & Produced by Caroline Strong.
'Cultybraggan' is in post production and due to complete summer 2019: Directed/Written and Produced by award winning TV director Ade Bean with Narration by Caroline Strong.
'When the Bough Breaks' is Directed by Danny Bean and Produced by Gabriel Bean and is currently in production. Due to complete 2020.
Mousehole Films is a small independent film company based in Perhshire for their Home Page and more information please click on this link - Mousehole Films
So far our Festival journey has been very exciting with a number of Wins, Gold Awards and Official Selections already! The Village on the Loch has picked up five awards in the February 2019 edition of Flicks Film Festival (London): Best Documentary, Best Family Film, Best Editing (Gabriel Bean & Danny Bean) Best Producer (Caroline Strong) and Best Narrator (Caroline Strong). In the Latitude Film Awards 2019 (London) the Film won Gold Awards for Documentary Feature, Cinematography (Danny Bean & Gabriel Bean) and Directing (Caroline Strong). In the Spotlight Documentary Film Awards (Atlanta) 2018, the film won a Gold Award for Documentary Feature. It also made Official Selection in the DUMBO Film Festival 2019 (Dumbo, New York) and the the Rome Prisma Awards 2019 (Italy). This documentary Feature is directed, produced, written and narrated by Caroline Strong, filmed and edited by Gabriel Bean and Danny Bean and Exec Produced by Ade Bean.
The Village on the Loch
On the banks of Loch Earn at the foot of Am Bioran lies the tiny Perthshire Village of St Fillans. 2017 marked the Bicentenary of its re-naming and the whole village, with customary enthusiasm, came together to celebrate. This is the story of the village and its changing fortunes.
Archivist Jim Brierly takes us with him on a journey through time; from the Picts and the arrival of St Fillan himself, the early farming communities on the hillside, the Clearances, the foundation of the Highland Society, the arrival of the Railway and the two World Wars, right up to the present day. It is a story of endurance and of how adversity shapes and determines the survival of a community. It also reflects the challenges facing all our small, rural communities in Scotland today.
An intricate quilt made by the ladies of the village, depicting its most important features, works as a motif where we return again and again throughout the film as: Farmer, Ecologist, Child Care Provider, Shopkeeper, Artist, Skydiver, Librarian, Professor, Vicar and Jockey, each take up the threads and add their piece to the patchwork. We discover that over the centuries “although the nature of those challenges may have changed, the village pulls together in much the same way.”
Today's challenges include: the spectre of Brexit and the risk to farm payments, the closure of the village school, the closure of the railway, lack of affordable housing or child care provision. We see how restrictive legislation within the National Park impacts on tourism putting the lone village shop (a lifeline to the elderly especially during the Winter months) at risk. Limited bus services and poor internet connection make the expectations of modern life a little tricky, especially for the young. The environmental impact of intensive grouse shooting; habitat destruction, species persecution and subsequent flooding, are major concerns. The weather itself, especially in Winter, is perhaps the most unpredictable challenge of all, affecting humans and animals alike.
With major supermarkets between twenty and forty miles away and one road in and out, modern self absorption and self reliance have no place here. Generosity, compassion and concern are the norm; as one villager remarks as he tends to his own garden, ‘The elderly in this community are well cared for. These vegetables go far and wide’. The future of any community, however, relies on the young, as one interviewee points out, ‘I think if you want to keep St Fillans alive and going, you need to encourage young people to stay’ and we learn by the end of the film that a number of the families featured have sadly had to leave the village.
The film opens with the narrator asking ‘What is a village?’ and we learn it is more than the dictionary definition, ‘A cluster of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town’ it is the people, past and present, who have made it thrive and grow and endure. Once the destination of Royalty and global pop icons, St Fillans apparently remains a home for pixies and fairies! The echo of history weaves it’s way through the poetic narrative, ending with it’s greatest treasures, the villagers; who, speaking movingly to camera, share with us what this place means to them. We are left touched by their warmth, humour, compassion and values we feared were lost.
This visually captivating documentary film, showcases some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery and wildlife, courtesy of the combined and considerable filming and editing talents of Perthshire based brothers, Gabriel Bean and Danny Bean (two time British Wildlife Photography Awards, Highly Commended Cinematographer 2018) and with a moving soundtrack, including music by young Scottish composer David Chappell. The film is written, directed and produced by first time feature director Caroline Strong and is Exec' Produced by award winning TV director Ade Bean.