A STORY idea born out of long car journeys on tour by acclaimed Cornish folk singer Martha Tilston has reached its final destination.

Friday sees the release of the film The Tape and the soundtrack album, all performed by Martha herself, however not only did she write the songs she also wrote the script, starred in the film and directed it.

Set on the Cornish coast, the film has already received praise from The Guardian and others and has its premiere at the Phoenix Cinema in Falmouth on Friday, September 24, the same day the soundtrack album is released.

Falmouth Packet:

The film tells the story of Tally, a musician who has lost her faith in her art and the self-confessed worst cleaner in Cornwall, ‘chaos in wellies’ is how she describes herself.

She is asked to house sit the coastal home of an elderly woman who has died and finds a four track recording machine and a piano and starts to make music again.

When a disillusioned lawyer who has lost his sense of self arrives it reignites their creative passion offering them the chance of a new future.

Martha told the Packet that when she would tell people parts of the story they would always want to know what happened next, so she decided to make it into a film idea, despite never having written a script in her life.

"So I just felt I needed to make it happen but I thought ‘Who am I to make a film?’. But there quite a few things on the radio at the time of the Me Too movement saying we need more women’s voices in film, we need more women to come forward and write and direct films.

Falmouth Packet:

“After about fourth of these programmes thought I was just going to be brave and let go of my ego. It was hard work but felt very much in flow. Societies in the world can tell you don't do this but I kept on pushing, and it kept on turning and then it happened.”

She says she had the most amazing crew and what is thought to be a first, the soundtrack was actually recorded live in the film.

The premiere was supposed to be at the Curzon in London but because Martha caught Covid it didn't happen, so now the premiere will be in Cornwall where it is set. Afterwards there will be a Q&A session.

Martha had previously worked as an actress before music took over, not surprising as her father is legendary folk musician Steve Tilston, but she had never written a script or directed a film before.

“I tried to find another director but I couldn't find someone to get inside my head. It was just pretty full on doing all those roles but it was such fun one of the funnest, but hardest, months of my life. I mean it kicks recording an album into the long grass.”

Martha used a mix of local actors and friends and even her daughter Zennor gets an important cameo role.

Playing opposite her is Lee Hart who she went to drama school with and who won a Laurence Olivier Award for the most promising student actor at the time.

“There’s been amazing reaction,” she said. “People are really loving the film and it is having great reviews and the albums had incredible reviews.

“I have got other ideas in the pipeline I would love to do it again. Seeing that the message of the film is 'do what makes you come alive' doing that film made me come alive and changed my life in loads of ways so it kind of worked on me to.”

The Tape is showing at The Phoenix Cinema on September 24, 26 and 29 and at Redruth Regal on the same dates.

Full details can be found at marthatilston.co.uk