By David Saunders | UPDATED: 05:28, 16 April 2020
Award-winning UK film maker Phoebe Holman is currently working on The Covid-19 Diaries, a ground-breaking new documentary that calls on people of the world to record their unique experiences throughout the pandemic.
It will capture on a global scale the wide range of human stories and situations that people are experiencing during this unprecedented time.
The worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 has led to extremely frightening and uncertain times. A third of the world’s population is on lockdown, people are dying at a devastating rate, the elderly and vulnerable are living in complete isolation and livelihoods are being lost on a daily basis.
However, from this global pandemic there have also been beautiful stories; a significant reduction in air pollution, communities uniting to support those in need, heroic key workers fighting to save lives, friends and strangers coming together through human spirit and a little help from technology. Many people are also seizing the opportunity to reassess their values and reflect on how they live their lives.
The Covid-19 Diaries will capture the life-changing individual human experiences of this pandemic. As a global collaboration it encourages people to film themselves telling their unique and uncensored stories.
Anyone can participate, all they need is a device on which to record. These are real stories told in people’s own words and each one will become part of a wider feature documentary which aims to inspire connectivity in a disconnected time.
The film also serves as a much needed creative outlet for Bristol based creative Phoebe Holman who, like so many, has seen her work and income disappear almost overnight as a result of the pandemic.
Her professional life has always been centred around unearthing and telling new stories which showcase social problems. She has worked with many underrepresented groups in her independent documentary career. She also works in TV on programmes which include factual documentaries, natural history programmes and game shows.
She has been engaged in projects for the BBC, Channel 5 and Channel 4 which include BAFTA winning shows. She produced and directed the documentary Towards Harmony with the world’s first orchestra for professional musicians with disabilities, winning Best Documentary at the London International Film Festival and 2nd place at the Manhattan International Film Festival in New York.
“I hope to make a social and historical artefact of this time, from the beginning through lockdown to the peak of the pandemic and continue on from that to document the aftermath on an international scale. It’s fascinating to hear stories from people in countries I’ve never been to but at the same time disturbing to discover what some people are having to endure.
I am using fast-turnaround technology to create a sense of up-to-the-minute accuracy and absolute authenticity in capturing these stories. These are the everyday tales of life at home under lockdown, told in people’s own words, not the stories that usually make the news.” Phoebe Holman, The Covid-19 Diaries.
Holman is working without a budget for this film and all the creatives and freelancers involved are also working on a voluntary basis. As well as providing an authentic document, the hope is that The Covid-19 Diaries will be one of the positives to emerge from these turbulent times and, in future, serve as a reminder that humans are resilient, social beings who will always come together when it really matters.
Head to covid19diaries.co.uk to view a selection of submissions and to contribute your own experience video.