Film about Kenilworth family's recovery from tragedy nominated for BAFTA

A documentary showing how a Kenilworth family tried to piece their lives together after the suicide of a loved father and husband has been nominated for a BAFTA.

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 12:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th January 2018, 11:45 am
The Shanks family. Back row from left: Osborn, Pippa, Vikie, Lorie, Mirie, Nikita. Front row from left: Jamie, Kacie.

'Kingdom of Us', released in October last year by streaming service Netflix, shows how Vikie Shanks and her seven children coped with the tragedy of losing Vikie's husband Paul after he committed suicide in 2007, aged just 51.

Director Lucy Cohen filmed the family in the years after Paul's death, and combined her footage with home video footage given to her by the Shanks.

Her work has seen Lucy nominated by BAFTA for the 'Outstanding Debut by a British writer, director or producer' category. The nominees were announced this morning (Tuesday January 9).

Vikie said the family was in a 'state of shock' upon hearing that the film had been nominated.

She said: "I couldn't believe it. At 8am this morning my phone was going bonkers with people saying 'you've been nominated for a BAFTA'.

"Getting a nomination is enormous and will raise the profile of the film. It would be wonderful if we won.

"It's been one hell of a journey. The kids were so brave to make that film."

Vikie had expressed fears about the film's release, especially about how her children Jamie, Kacie , Lorie, Mirie, Nikita, Osborn and Pippa would cope.

But she said the feedback she has received from viewers vindicated her decision.

She said: "I got a message from a woman who said 'you've saved my life'. She said she came across the film by accident.

"That was an incredible and powerful message to get back from someone. It was so humbling.

"We've had all sorts of incredible messages from people, and the children are overjoyed. We all made the film to try and raise awareness and to help. If that's what the film's achieving, that's fantastic."

Vikie also praised Lucy for her approach in making the film, and hoped she wins the BAFTA.

Vikie added: "I'm so proud of Lucy. She's the most amazing person and she deserves it."

Kingdom of Us will be up against four fictional films - 'The Ghoul', 'I Am Not A Witch', 'Jawbone', and 'Lady Macbeth'. The awards will be presented at the Royal Albert Hall in London at a ceremony held on Thursday February 18.

The film has already has already won the 2017 Grierson Award for Best Documentary, and has also been nominated for a British Independent Film Award.