Aiko, a controversial Japanese artist living in the UK, is struggling to complete her latest collection. Her muse and girlfriend, Elisabeth, faces her own pressures dealing with her fledgling acting career. The journey to Aiko’s final masterpiece takes in passion, lust, obsession and shows no sign of a happy ending.

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Whilst developing the screenplay for The Nail That Sticks Out I was heavily influenced by the year I spent living in Japan, in particular the differences between their culture and the one I knew growing up in the UK. I was interested to explore how these cultural differences could affect relationships.

I was passionate about creating two complicated, fully-realised female leads for my story. The title of the film is taken from the Japanese proverb “The nail that sticks out gets hammered back in”, which influenced my decisions in creating a protagonist that does not necessarily conform to the society she comes from, or finds herself in, and therefore becomes the nail that sticks out.

Art and personal expression are integral to the story of The Nail That Sticks Out, with artists like Megumi Igarashi and Vincent Castiglia being among my personal favourites. I believe that art is such an important medium for self-expression, and that this in itself can be incredibly powerful.

I will also be working as the production designer on the film, a position that will enable me to influence the look of the film alongside director Jordan Dean and director of photography Jobe Davenport. I always imagined that the film would be full of vibrant art contrasted with an overall minimalist look. Colour is incredibly important in this film, and I think the audience will be thrilled by what we manage to achieve.

The Nail That Sticks Out is my first screenplay and I am extremely excited for an audience to go on this cinematic journey with me. During the pre-production of the film, the crew, including myself have been fortunate enough to receive industry-standard training and support from the likes of Iain Smith (Mad Max: Fury Road), Chris Kenny (Batman) and Terry Bamber (Casino Royale).

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I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to direct The Nail That Sticks Out. After reading the script, I realised that the writer and I have similar taste in film, and are influenced by a lot of the same filmmakers. I think this is going to be a very exciting collaboration.

For me, the film is first and foremost about art and how each person’s specific art form changes who they are and can control their existence. The film explores two characters whose relationship with their own art forces divisions in their personal relationship. The story also explores how far people are willing to go to create their art and succeed in their chosen vocation.

I think I speak for everyone involved in the production when saying that we are all very passionate about diversity and equality in film. That said, I found it extremely refreshing to read a script where there is an LGBT relationship at the centre of the narrative, but it not being the main theme of the story. The film also tackles culture clashes which I feel is a very important topic in the current political climate. 

The visual scope of the film is something that excites me about this project, there is a lot of room to make this film visually stunning. I am working closely with my director of photography and production designer to ensure that the film looks as incredible as it deserves to be.