Director ‘overwhelmed’ by response to emotional Christmas film made for just £50

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Forget the big budget festive adverts from the high street stores – one advert made with £50 has proved that it does not take money to move people at Christmas.

Phil Beastall has made a short film called Love Is A Gift in 2014 and less than a week ago he posted it on social media.

Since then it has received many thousands of comments and shares and been viewed millions of times.

The two-and-a-half-minute film features a young man whose mother has passed away.

The man listens to the tapes made by his late mother. Pic: Phil Beastall
Image:
The short film has been viewed millions of times. Pic: Phil Beastall

He is seen counting the days until Christmas when he sits alone and listens to a tape she made him before she died.

Mr Beastall told Sky News that he had been “overwhelmed” with the response to the advert, adding: “I don’t think I could ever have imagined it would have taken off like it has.”

The 32-year-old from Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, said the idea came to him during a “casual Sunday run” and he and his partner had started filming two days later.

Many people were starting to feel uneasy about the amount of money spent on Christmas advertising, he said, citing the John Lewis festive advert which stars Sir Elton John and reportedly cost millions of pounds.

“Especially with what’s going on in politics at the moment, I just think people would rather not see huge amounts of money being spent in that way.”

Some fans on Twitter were so impressed that they said Mr Beastall’s advert should have been used by John Lewis instead of the version the department store giant had paid so much for.

One wrote: “John Lewis marketing ‘experts’ should watch and weep”.

Many viewers also said that seeing the young man living life without his mother had resonated with their own loss of a loved one.

Mr Beastall told Sky News: “I wanted people to watch it and although initially they might feel sad, I wanted them to reflect on it and perhaps turn to a loved on and give them a cuddle or say ‘I love you’ and reflect on life itself and appreciate just how lucky we are to be here, but the reaction has just been incredible.

“I’ve had thousands of messages from people just telling me they’ve lost loved ones recently and children recently, and it’s just so sad.

“I’ve tried to respond to all of them because it just means the world to me that people would reach out like that.”

He added: “It’s just important we look after each other and even if I just say a thank you I don’t want these people to feel that they’re being ignored, especially at this time of year.”

Mr Beastall said his “two very lovely” parents are both still alive but he can still imagine how difficult it must be for those dealing with loss at Christmas time.

“If they can watch it and feel they can cope slightly better this year, that would make me really really happy.”


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