The project

We’ve just got back from the shoot of our ambitious short film Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (30 minutes), a period drama adapted from the famous medieval tale of the same name.


The long and complicated shoot (a castle collapsed!) made us go over budget. We need your contribution to help pay for the post-production and special effects… such as cutting off the head of our headless horseman! 





Young Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious Green Knight who challenges any knight to strike him with his axe if he accepts to receive the same blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts, takes the axe, and, with one blow, cuts the Green knight’s head off, happy to be rid of him. But the Green Knight stands up, picks up his head and leaves… but not before reminding Gawain of his promise to meet again…








It’s an extraordinary story, part of the legends of King Arthur. It was written 700 years ago on a parchment now kept in the British Library. It’s extraordinary for several reasons. Firstly, no one knows who, man or woman, was the author of the text.


Secondly, 700 years later, no one can agree on what this mysterious story actually means. The plot is complex, full of different themes and symbols. After reading it, everyone comes away with their own personal interpretation of the story.


Like the story it’s adapted from, our film Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is about a young man dragged into an external challenge and inner quest, lost amidst a hostile nature in the middle of winter. It’s an ambitious project, a period piece, a medieval romance that we shot last March in the mists, castles and wild landscapes of Brittany, western France, a region with shared roots in celtic culture and literature.


The Cast

Gawain: Ernst Umhauer

Bertilak: Malik Zidi

Lady Bertilak: Laure Marsac

The Servant: Bertrand Constant

The Arrogant Knight: Grégoire Colin











We’ve spent our whole budget on the three week shoot in Brittany. We encountered a few unexpected events that severely impacted the budget, namely our main set (interiors): Pontivy castle, which collapsed three weeks before the shoot. (yes it will be restored in due time) Anyway, we had to find another set, 200km further north, with all the associated extra costs (set hire, extra transport and accommodation).


Then the abbey we were meant to shoot the main party scene in finally refused because they didn’t want the Green Knight’s horse riding in. As there was no other suitable medieval hall in all of Brittany (1/ beautiful enough; 2/ with a door high enough to let a rider in), we had to travel another 600 km to shoot an extra two days at a different, privately owned location in Burgundy. At substantial extra cost: set hire, extra truck, camera, and lighting equipment hire, transport, accommodation of 25 extras etc.


Sir Gawain has been our whole life for these past two years. Two years that we’ve been working on it, without pay, from our flat.


This work has brought results, and France 2 (the main French national TV station) has pre-purchased the film. This pre-purchase doesn’t cover the whole budget, but it displays recognition of the quality of our work, an essential step in advancing towards making feature films and bringing medieval glory to the big screen!


The film has been shot and needs only you to be finalised!


For this, we need your help to finance the post-production, an essential step in guaranteeing the film’s sound and visual quality. 



Why fund it?

With your support, the funds collected will enable us to finalise the film, more precisely to pay the technicians and costs linked to the different postproduction steps, which are:


-       Visual editing (editing team wages):  €2797 


-       Special effects (erasing modern elements, CGI shots…

        and especially CUTTING OFF HIS HEAD !):   €4900 


-       Colour grading (suite hire & technician wages):   €1143 


-       Sound design (Pro tools suite hire & sound engineer wages):  €2752 


-       Audio mixing (suite hire & technician wages):  €1443 


-       Producing the DCP (Digital Cinema Package

        for theatre screenings):  €1200 


        TOTAL:   €14235


Were this crowdfunding campaign to go beyond target, any extra funds collected will serve to pay the KissKiss BankBank commission (8% of amount collected), music licences for the film's soundtrack, fees associated with sending the film to international festivals, and the development of our next project: a medieval feature film, the screenplay of which is already written. 











From working in the mines of Western Australia, to creating historical shows, night concierge in hotels, biographer to princesses, doorman, truck driver in Africa, production manager and line producer in film… anything goes when it comes to financing your film projects and gathering material to put in them!  


With a tendency to always want to see something else than what’s before my eyes, to want to create other worlds, and to share them. 


For ten years, I’ve been perfecting my writing, to only turn the camera on when I'm really sure I've got a good story to tell. I make films because it's what I love, the never-ending challenge, the joy, the humility too, you experience when you look at your work, and which triggers the continual desire to move on to the next creation, always on the condition that it be much better than the last! It's my whole life. If you like Sir Gawain, all I ask is to be able to bring you more.





At ESRA (Paris Film School) where I studied, I was one of the few who didn’t raise their hand the day the teacher asked who wanted to be a director. Because while it’s nice to dream, I could see that with so many dreamers around, someone was going to have hang in there to see them through.


So I chose production : the mountains of paperwork, logistics, search for finance, endless days, team management, the 180 phone daily phone calls, the production office in my living room, the blocked credit cards, the debts, the risk of accidents on set, the legal responsibility before court…


Sir Gawain gave me my first grey hairs. But when I look at the images, I’ve the satisfaction of knowing I’ve contributed, made possible even, something beautiful, something magical.


Vanessa et Martin

Martin & Vanessa, Director and Producer on a quest for cinema

FAQ Questions about the project

+ What language will the film be in?

French with English subtitles. If we collect enough funds, or a foreign TV purchase permits it, we will consider making an English-dubbed version as well.

Newest comments

et oubliez pas de faire une projection dans l'est ! ( Lyon ou encore mieux Grenoble;))
Dernière ligne droite, courage!
Les quelques images que j'ai pu voir m'ont convaincues en plus de la passion affichée par le réalisateur sur cette époque si mal connue du Moyen-âge. Bonne chance!