Lily’s Story

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The Brief

“Lily’s Story" was a winning entry to the BFI's Future Film competition which invites emerging filmmakers to pitch socially rooted film concepts. Gorilla Gorilla! partnered with emerging Director, Giulia Gandini, and Producer, Hannah Siden, to bring the film to the screen, united by a desire for “Lily’s Story" to be a creative vehicle to allow us to experiment with the potential of user generated documentary for online audiences and to reframe the representation of homelessness.


Distributed through Real Stories and NowThis, ‘Lily’s Story’ quickly went viral on both platforms with 8+ million organic views on Facebook alone, with additional reach on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. It was also featured on Director’s Notes, Documentary Weekly, and VERO. The video sparked conversation and ultimately fostered empathy and understanding from viewers. It was also used to raise money for the homeless charities Crisis and Dogs On the Streets. On a more personal level, all of the money made from online distribution went to Lily.

Our Thinking

The team were incredibly grateful to find Lily, whose warmth and openness brought the film to life. We shot over 3 non-consecutive days using an iPhone 7 (which Lily kept after the filming process was over). Lily was free to independently start recording when it was the right moment. The Director / Producer team stayed nearby while Lily filmed to be of assistance, but she was otherwise afforded full creative control of her filming process.


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