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This is Our Family

Duration: 4 x 60'

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Filmed over three years, these intimate films fast-track four different families' evolution and lives as they deal with the universal themes of births, deaths and marriages. 

In a ‘Boyhood’ meets ‘Modern Family’ television first, these four films are joyful but tough, offering truthful accounts of family life that celebrate the value of core human relationships. 

This is no glib, chocolate-box version of family - for at least one of our contributors, it’s an institution from which they’d like to escape...

The Borgs

Tony, 52, has never married. A well-known boxing coach, his boxers and gym have always come first. He’s been messing round with women his whole life and has eight children by four mums but, as filming begins, he has finally decided to settle down with Emma. Not all his children are happy about the news. Emma had four children but her second oldest, Xana, died in a car accident four years ago. Two boys were convicted of causing the crash and sent to prison. They will soon be freed. As Tony and Emma work to bring their families together for their big day, Emma struggles to come to terms with the loss of her daughter. 

Filmed over three years, as the Borgs deal with the pain of bereavement and the joy of a wedding, could the results of a DNA test add a new member to their family?

The Hoyles

10 year-old Lily knows how Mum Mary-Jane and Dad David got together. It was love at first sight. David was the singer in a band and Mary-Jane a face in the crowd. They fell in love and promised each other they’d never be ordinary. Marriage followed by pregnancy, so far so normal. Mary-Jane was worried about how life would change. Would they lose the passion, miss their freedom? Eldest daughter Annie May was born in 2004 but gradually they realized she wasn’t ‘normal’. In fact, she has an undiagnosed neurological condition and complex epilepsy. Now every day is spent on the edge of an emergency. Theirs is a daily struggle to keep Annie-May alive, helped by the normality of raising younger sister Lily, but also not without challenges. The film tells the story of a feisty, frank and upbeat family. But the pressures are huge, the tension sometimes too much to bear, especially when Annie-May’s condition worsens and the entire fabric of the family is stretched to breaking point. 

Filmed over three years, the film follows the Hoyles as they make difficult medical decisions for Annie-May and charts Lily’s journey from the calm of primary school to the threshold of teen life.

The Miles' 

For the Miles’, appearances have always been important, but matriarch Irene is the most glamorous of them all. At 85 she still dresses impeccably, with a penchant for designer sunglasses and bright red lipstick. With her quick wit and her potty mouth Irene is the life and soul of any social occasion. But she also has dementia and is losing her memory. Irene lives with her youngest daughter, Maree, and her three granddaughters, Ellie, Lily and Dolce. The family are devoted to Irene – but living with her isn’t easy. She can be aggressive, rude and easy to upset. And she’s convinced she lives with her eldest daughter, Karen. Karen is Maree’s older sister and best friend. She now runs a pub around the corner and helps look after Irene when she can. Irene’s family is determined to keep her out of care and at home for as long as possible. But how will this tight knit family cope under the pressures of this devastating disease? 

Filmed over three years, the film follows the Miles’ as they care for Irene as her dementia worsens and it explores themes of family love and loyalty, and shows the reality of caring for an elderly relative in Britain today. 

The Nailors 

Vinnie Nailor, 31 at the start of filming, has spent most of his adult life in prison on serious charges including drug dealing. Growing up in a family of small time criminals in Milton Keynes, Vinnie is now a dad himself - to six children by five women. Vinnie wants to go straight in order to be a proper father to his kids – in particular his eldest, teenager Rylan. After years of absence, as Rylan approaches the age Vinnie was when he first broke the law, Vinnie’s hoping to make up for lost time. But can he cope with settling down, and earning less in a week than he used to make in a day? Vinnie wants to find a steady girlfriend but his relationships with women are troubled. As his mum Cassie says, he doesn’t seem to trust himself to fall in love.  

Filmed over three years, the film follows the Nailors as Vinnie tries to ensure that Rylan’s journey from boy to man is smoother than his own– but can he draw a line between his family and his past?

 

 

Little Gem for Sky Atlantic 

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