One Step Further | Documentary Short Film | London, ENG

Growing up as a kid in Canada I took my surroundings for granted – I didn’t realise how lucky I was. My life in the countryside was packed with sunshine, fresh air and space to play around. The trees were healthy and the birds would sing. However, I used to envy my friends for living in the city as I experienced the city life briefly while going to school there. Looking back on this, now that I’m living in London, I realise, not only how important nature is, but also how our surroundings make a difference. How we treat ourselves, others, and our environment, affects us. I‘ve had this matter in the back of my mind for a while now, haphazardly noticing how different I’ve been feeling since I moved to the big, buzzing metropolis that is London.

This is a city that leaves you with a constant feeling of stupefaction. Rarely uninterrupted by a steady flow of people running about the streets, this concrete jungle never seems to give a rest to anyone. Dazzling colourful adverts and screens that you can find on every corner feed into the pace of life in the city – a pace quite different from the one nature has. Everything here is fast, competitive and in the way. People get caught up in it and don’t always notice how they treat each other – it becomes their second nature. Don’t be mislead by my words, I do really enjoy living in London, and appreciate the diversity and quantity of opportunities that this place has to offer. I would even consider myself lucky to be here.

All of this brings me to my encounter with Nicola Cuomo. At the beginning of last year I started to work with Nicola in Notting Hill. Working at the same place, spending all this time together, helped us discover that we had harmonizing perceptions. Both coming from foreign, rural lands was the foundation we built our friendship on. But this friendship could never be as strong as the bond I saw between Nicola and his dog – Skizzo. Since moving to London to build a career in filmmaking, I’ve got in the habit of keeping myself informed as much as humanly possible about opportunities in film. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a contest that National Geographic set up to shine a light on animal lovers in our community. Right away I thought of Nicola and his dog. The little I knew about their story already inspired me. The moment he was available, I took my camera and went to interview him and the story unraveled itself in front of me. I managed to gather everything I could and finalised this short documentary within twenty four hours.

Nicola’s perspective brought me back to my ponderings on how nature and our surroundings can influence us. It seems to me that most of us are disconnected from our instincts – drifting further and further away, into unsociable beings with high expectations towards others but little empathy. Something I would call being a “Modern Human!”. In this short documentary, Nicola brings us on a journey, describing his story, and then how he perceives our current relations with animals, what they could be, and why they should be strengthened. It is sometimes the smallest message that has the biggest impact and I think his last words in this documentary are very profound.

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