Young Mansfield filmmaker produces three Covid documentaries exploring effects of pandemic in Nottinghamshire

A young Mansfield filmmaker has produced a series of short documentaries exploring the impact of the Covid pandemic on the town and elsewhere in the county over the past year – including the experiences of embattled staff at King’s Mill Hospital.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 1:37 pm
Mansfield filmmaker Jay  Martin.
Mansfield filmmaker Jay Martin.

Jay Martin was commissioned to produce the three five-minute pieces after his first documentary REDt’BLUE got him noticed by the local media scene.

The 22-year-old produced the short film himself – which details the rise of Conservative MP Ben Bradley as ‘the first blue brick in the red wall’ – and the impact Brexit had on changing the district’s political landscape.

Jay, who was a student at Brunts Academy and went on to study film and television at the Confetti college in Nottingham, used crowdfunding to add the finishing touches to the piece, which is set for release later this year.

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Filmmaker Jay Martin spoke to staff at King's Mill Hospital about their experiences during the pandemic.

The three Covid pieces look at the experiences of medics at King’s Mill Hospital, in Sutton, the impact the lockdown has had on the Nottinghamshire performing arts industry, called the Excluded, and a Tale of Two Towns – a ‘two-way’ between Mr Bradley and Nottingham East Labour MP Nadia Whittome talking about how they feel the Government handled the pandemic.

The first piece, Frontline, takes the audience behind the scenes at King’s Mill and speaks to two medical professionals – deputy ward leader Kayleigh Lawrence and anaesthetics and critical care consultant Dr Pulak Kamur Paul – both of whom have spent the past 12 months going above and beyond to save lives throughout the pandemic.

Speaking about the film, Jay said: “We made it with a completely Covid-secure film crew so we were protected and confident going in there.

"But I was more worried about talking to the people. We wanted an open and honest conversation about how it actually was, and it became clear that this has been a real struggle, and these are people who have been working in that hospital all year round.

Mansfield filmmaker Jay Martin.

“We did the interview a couple of weeks ago, and the hospital seemed practically back to normal – it seemed busy, with lots of people walking around again.”

Describing her experiences over the past year, Nurse Lawrence says in the documentary: “I had a lady come in during the first wave, it was difficult, she was an elderly lady, and yeah, she had all the treatment that they could give her and there was nothing else that they could do for her, but this lady was still wide awake, right until the end.

"And it’s so difficult to see someone so alert and completely understanding of what’s happening to them, and knowing that there’s nothing else we can do.”

Describing his own experiences at the start of the pandemic, Dr Paul said:“It’s dealing with the families . . . there is somebody here who is very sick, and the family, they cannot come in. And we are all just really informing them that, ‘yes, they are very poorly’.

You can watch Frontline, commissioned by BBC Radio Nottingham by clicking here. The other two films are also available on the BBC Radio Nottingham website.