Francis has always loved telling stories. At a young age he became obsessed with studying the world by taking photographs. Despite his interest in people and their lives, growing up in Yorkshire in a working-class family during the 70s and 80s meant that pursuing a career in filmmaking seemed unrealistic. After working as a jobbing actor for 20 years, and approaching a milestone birthday, Francis knew he had to quit his life in London if he was ever going to bring his own stories to the screen.
If sacrifice is an important part of any aspiring filmmaker’s journey, then Francis certainly paid his dues. From London he moved back to Yorkshire and worked seven days a week in a scrapyard. The cash he earned funded a short film, and kept him afloat while he wrote the first draft of what would become his breakthrough, the Sundance-premiering debut feature God’s Own Country.
Francis says he doesn’t have a blueprint for how to make his next film. He does however know that it’s important to respond to each project by instinct. For Francis, being rigorous with the truth is crucial, as it is only by digging deep into the heart of your story that you will make a film that people will be drawn to.