Last month, a short film depicting a man listening to tapes that had been left by his late mother at Christmas touched hearts across the nation, garnering almost 10m views despite being made for a budget £50.
Following on from the success of the film, its creator has been enlisted to make another similarly moving Christmas advert for Good Morning Britain’s ‘1 Million Minutes’ campaign, with the aim of raising awareness of loneliness.
Anyone who found Beastall’s previous festive tale emotional will need to their fetch the tissues as this film, portraying people experiencing loneliness after the loss of loved ones, pulls at the heartstrings just as much.
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The film, titled Time is a Gift, begins with a woman waking up in the morning, smiling as her partner places a hand on her shoulder.
As she turns over in bed to look at him, she realises that he’s not there and a tear silently falls down her face.
Next we see a man jokingly playing rugby with a young boy. As the pair chuckle, the boy suddenly disappears from view and the man looks on, an expression of sadness appearing on his face.
We then come across an elderly man in his home as he accidentally picks up two mugs from his kitchen to make hot drinks, momentarily forgetting that he’s now on his own.
The last scenario in the advert features a family of four, with a husband and wife sitting on the sofa of their living room as their two daughters open presents underneath the Christmas tree.
The parents both look at each other smiling, seemingly pleased with the gifts that they’ve given their children.
When the man looks back at his wife, rather than see her looking back at him, he sees a black a white photograph of her that’s been put up in the house in her memory.
Later on in the film, we see the people who are mourning the loss of their loved ones speak about how they’re feeling either in person with an attentive listener or over the phone.
The advert ends with the slogan: “You can help end loneliness.”
The film, which was made by filmmaker Phil Beastall from Gloucestershire, was unveiled on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
The release of the film marks the launch of this year’s ‘1 Million Minutes’ campaign, which provides people with the opportunity to either pledge their time or volunteer to help others who are experiencing loneliness and loss.
Beastall spoke about how grateful he was to receive the request to produce a new film.
“To be asked to create this film for you guys is just an honour,” he said on the morning talk show.
“I think with all of us, we’ve all grown this thick exterior where we have to go out to the world and battle it, but actually under it all we’ve just got a soft core and we just want to be loved and love each other.
“I think it’s so important, especially at this time of year, that we just all come together.”
Numerous people have been praising Beastall for his new film, with one person describing it as “heart-wrenching”.
“Outstanding,” someone else wrote. “This will be the first Christmas without my dad, you can be surrounded by people and still feel alone.”
“Thanks Phil for making me into a blubbering mess before work,” another person tweeted.
“It’s another lovely piece of work for a great cause. Well done.”
According to a survey conducted by Good Morning Britain, more than half of Brits feel lonely after losing a loved one, while a third say that experiencing a loss has had a negative impact on their mental health.