BAFTA winning film director says he did not think anybody would watch his film about a Cornish field

  • Christopher Morris shows ITV West Country where he made his film

A film which tracks how a field in Cornwall changes with the seasons is gaining a following at film festivals around the world.

'A Year in a Field' has been shot entirely on a phone and focuses on an ancient monolith in the middle of a West Cornwall farmer's land.

It is a slow story which shows the changes in wildlife and nature in the 12 months filming took place around the 4,000-year-old stone.

BAFTA-winning director Christopher Morris says it has come as a "complete surprise" that people are interested in it.

"I thought this film might have value in 50 years, so I'll make it and then stick it away, and maybe someday you'll discover it."

The film has a lot of music, and natural soundscape of all the birds, insects and the winds Credit: Christopher Morris

Christopher says he "accidentally stumbled into this field early one morning" but there was something about the ancient stone.

"It was never really meant to be a full-length film feature film but the more and more footage I gathered, the more I realised that actually there was a bigger story here."

The former Falmouth University lecturer says it accidentally became a project on his personal response to the climate crisis.

"I didn't come here to make a film about climate change, but when you're standing here and you're in the environment day after day, night after night, and this thing is marking our existence as humans on this planet."

"Over the 60 years of my life, I have seen massive change, and that's just 60 years. Imagine 2,000 years or 4,000 when this stone was placed here."

"This film is encouraging people to think of timescales beyond our puny lives and take actions which you might never see the end of."

Christopher says he's no "climate change saint" but it has made him think about "every aspect of my life" from food, to travel to the clothes he buys.

The film has been showcased now around the UK and internationally, including a film festival in Zurich, Serbia and soon to be showcased in Brazil.

"It's just incredibly weird. The audiences in Zurich reacted to the film the way that people are reacting to it here. They're deeply moved by it."

Cornish filmmaker Mark Jenkin accepting his BAFTA award with producer Linn Waite and film producer Kate Byers in 2020 Credit: BAFTA

Cornish cinema has been in the spotlight in recent years with film director Mark Jenkin winning a BAFTA for his film Bait and at the beginning of 2023 releasing folk-horror film Enys Men.

Christopher says being hyper-local is the essence of Cornish Cinema and that has a "wider universality" with an international cinema audience.

"It's sort of driven by things like the film school at Falmouth University, churning out students who are staying here to work.

"Screen Cornwall is run by Laura Giles in Truro. She's attracting big productions now into Cornwall. So the television and cinema and screen environment in Cornwall now is looking very vibrant."