Scott and Sid: National award for debut movie about two friends from Bradford chasing their dreams

Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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On a shortlist that included Michael Caine, Idris Elba and Joaquin Phoenix, it would have taken an extreme optimist to put down money on an effort by two lads from Bradford who had never made a movie before.

But Scott and Sid, an eponymous and autobiographical drama written, produced and directed by a pair of school friends who had resolved as teenagers that they would one day be famous, was the one that stole the show at this week’s National Film Awards in London.

A scene from the film, Scott and Sid

A scene from the film, Scott and Sid

However, as they lifted the statuette for Best British film, and their leading lady, Charlotte Milchard, another for best supporting actress, there lay a sting in the tail.

Many of the viewers who saw film had viewed it illegally, on one of the download sites that litter the internet.

Having raised the £1m budget themselves, Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj took it personally.

“Our film dream became a nightmare – it was devastating,”recalled Sadowskyj, after learning that 23,000 people had viewed a pirated copy of Scott and Sid last year, before it had even been released.

The blow was softened by the rapturous reviews it received, including one from Steven Spielberg, who was quoted as saying that he looked forward to seeing what the real Scott and Sid were going to make next.

That, they have now revealed, is a production that will tackle the piracy issue head-on.

With a bigger budget and buoyed by the success of their debut, True Cine Live will be not just a film but a live, theatrical drama which will, by its nature, be impossible to replicate.

“Audiences are forever seeking new ways to experience culture,” said Sadowskyj, who likened the new movie to a rock concert, to be shown at sports stadiums and concert arenas, with big screens and a live cast of performers.

“No longer will audiences be restricted to the role of the passive viewer, but become an integral part of the story,” he said.

It is a leap of the imagination from Scott and Sid, a more conventional, though no less intense, story of two friends who set out to chase their dreams, drawing up a list of ambitions including fast cars and making a movie.

In the film, Sid is the awkward son of an alcoholic mother, and Scott a low achieving student who moves from school to school. “It’s basically our own lives but with some dramatic licence,” said Sadowskyj.

He and Elliott, both 33, have been in business together since they left Beckfoot School in Bradford – first cleaning ovens, then in marketing and eventually, while travelling the world, securing work on the set of The Hobbit in New Zealand.

“We had said at 15 that we wanted to make a film and it took us until we were 30 to do it,” said Sadowskyj , who is now negotiating a US release.

“It’s a film about being what you believe we are. But we didn’t imagine we would beat films with budgets of eight or nine million.”