TBB Talks To … Aleah Scott Creator of Safe

Aleah is a Director, Writer and Producer from North West London.

She looks at the world through an empathetic lens and has an appreciation for truth and vulnerability. She often takes a documentary-style approach in her work and draws inspiration from the human experience.

Safe highlights the constant threat that girls face, even when wearing what is deemed to be the most innocent of clothing: a school uniform.

Aleah Scott – creator of Safe

Please introduce yourself …

My name is Aleah, I’m a filmmaker born and raised in North West London.

Why Safe?

I saw this video on my Twitter timeline of a schoolgirl being helped by a woman after being assaulted on her way to school. In the cesspit of content we’re exposed to every day it’s very easy to see something pretty traumatic, have an initial response to it and move on to the next video, meme etc. But this really stuck with me and I believe if something strikes a chord then you should do something about it.

Tell us about your team …

The crew was tiny. It was just me and my very talented DOP, Fraser Stephen. Fraser had randomly messaged me on The Dots about possible collaborations just as I had decided that this is the film I wanted to make. I put the idea to him and he felt just as passionate about the topic and the rest was history. Casting – I had a last-minute nightmare so had to get my younger sister and her friends to step in, they were amazing and very cute. It really worked out in the end because there was a beautiful natural chemistry between them all. Also, shout out to mumsy who kept us fed and watered on the day of the shoot.

This film was a complete labour of love so in terms of post-production, it was a beg, borrow and steal kinda thing. Edit, grade and score were all kindly done by people who just believed in the story and wanted to create something powerful. However, the women who shared their stories with me were who I really depended on – I did a call out through socials and the response was painfully overwhelming. It was great that so many women wanted to share their stories but heartbreaking that so many women had a story to tell. When working with a topic so sensitive you have a duty of care to your contributors, and having these women trust me with their stories isn’t something to take for granted.

What does the story of Safe mean to you personally?

That initial video triggered memories of my own childhood walking to and from school – it kicked off conversations with my friends and completely rang home that we all had very similar experiences when we were just trying to make our way to and from school. The school uniform is pretty much a universal identifier of someone being a child, this person is to be protected, and this person is vulnerable and innocent. But if you’re not safe as a child and not safe when you’re an adult, when are you? When will we be able to walk the streets without fear of what might happen to us? When do women and girls become safe? I wanted to tell a visual story of girls just existing and capture the carefree essence of youth but pair it with the very real stories that sadly live next to the jovial image of teenhood.

Tell us a memorable moment from idea to final edit.

I did all initial chats with women who wanted to share their experiences via Zoom calls – I had scheduled 23 across a few days. I had finished the first day of back-to-back calls and was just like “wow” – completely saddened at the magnitude of the situation, but it just clarified how much this film needed to be made.

Which scene best defines what you love about this project?

The whole thing. Visually, you just see girls being girls, the beauty and innocence of being a teenager is captured in the cinematography and that’s what I really wanted to focus on.

What’s next?

More docs, more films. I’m making time for passion projects this year, creating things that make my soul smile.

How do we keep up to date with you and your work?

IG: @29.02 and I also run a short film night called FEELS. @feelsconnected

Catch Aleah’s film Safe at the BFI Future Film Festival – find out more here


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