Image: Chris Harris

Director Nick Whitfield was the surprise winner of the Michael Powell award at Edinburgh International Film Festival this year. His low-budget film Skeletons tells the story of two travelling salesmen who visit people’s homes to perform a procedure to rid them of any ‘skeletons’ in their closets. The film received a fantastic reaction following its premiere at Edinburgh and since then has been touring the country. A campaign has even started on Facebook where people have championed to get the film shown in their local cinema. We grabbed director Nick Whitfield for a few minutes from his hectic schedule to find out what this whirlwind experience has been like.

What has the experience of winning the Michael Powell award at Edinburgh been like?

It’s a crazy dream come true and way beyond my expectations. The prize for me was making the film. This is absurdly flattering and weird.

How do you hope that will impact the film?

I hope it will make its audience bigger, pure and simple. The film doesn’t really exist unless someone’s watching it.

Skeletons has a very distinctive style, refreshingly different from most British film – what were you inspired by to create the film?

Events in my life played a huge part. And lots of work that I’ve done over the years, disparate influences – my old theatre teacher Philippe Gaulier, Pinter, Beckett, Eric and Ernie… films I’ve loved – Three Colours Blue, Unforgiven, Spinal Tap, Eternal Sunshine…, The Ipcress File. And much of the inspiration comes from the group of people you choose to work with in the end.

This is your first feature film, it must have been a huge learning curve – do you have any advice for budding filmmakers?

Well, I’m no expert but I’d say “Make the story that you HAVE TO. No faking it.”

What do you have lined up to work on next?

Oh, plans afoot, but if I told you, well, you know…

Visit the Skeletons profile on IMDB or the official website to find out more about the film.