Director’s Statement

Life on the Line was shot in Leeds in partnership with Left Eye Blind, a production company we founded in 2007. The Northern Film School funded the short film with myself Directing three years after having graduated. I proposed the project would be an opportunity to bring back together many other talented graduates who were then all spread across the UK. Excitingly the film was a reunion of Film School crew collaborating with local up-and-coming professionals.


I’m passionate about giving a voice to disability in media. I want to explore the inner doubts of those categorised in society as disabled and how that affects their mental health and behaviour.

The main storyline drew on my own experience of a missed adolescence through illness. For four years I was completely bed bound, so my affinity to Kieran’s character was immediate. What I recognised in Matt’s script was a character who was identifying through the label of disability instead of accepting themselves as an individual.


This personal connection with the themes was vital for working with actor Will Rastall on his characters journey. It also permeated the other call centre staff with Clare’s OCD, Barry’s wheelchair and Hilary’s depression. The entire night staff appear to be in limbo, a band of social misfits who are empowered by each others company just as they are trapped by self perception.

Keiran is a character who sees himself as a victim and feeds that energy with anger and apathy. The viewer hungers for that transformative release that will enable Keiran to accept himself. I’m attracted to characters who are almost immobile by their fear of change, especially at a point where they risk everything if they cannot move on, move forward or let go.


We wanted the film to feel claustrophobic with no daylight, the tone of the film was discussed in depth with all HOD’s. Throughout there are constant references to comas and dreams. Kieran, a coma survivor, tells the audience that within his dreams he was able to control things that happened around him. We explore the possibility that Kieran may still be asleep, the film follows Kieran as he realises that he is awakening.

The vision of someone breaking through the mind’s psychological barriers is powerful and has cinematic beauty. I hope that we have created a film where the story is relatable and the visuals extraordinary

– Aurora Fearnley


© Aurora Fearnley . Little Northern Light

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