Creative in association withGear Seven

Refuge Film Gives Upsetting New Meaning to the Game 'Hide and Seek'

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Disturbing campaign by BBH London demonstrates the sheer scale of domestic abuse in the UK
‘Hide and Seek’, created by BBH London, launched over Easter weekend and marks the commencement of a national partnership and awareness raising campaign between Refuge and Picturehouse.

The campaign aims to raise funds and awareness of domestic abuse; an issue which affects one woman in four in her life and around 800,000 children every year. The powerful 60 second film dramatises these shocking statistics, and raises awareness of the life-saving and life-changing support Refuge provides.

Directed by Lucy Bridger and produced by Black Sheep Studios, ‘Hide and Seek’ highlights the fact that 90% of domestic abuse which takes place in a family home is witnessed and experienced by children. The short film shows a child playing the well-known game Hide and Seek, eyes covered and counting, with the sounds of abuse in the backdrop. However, the boy isn’t playing after all but simply coping, attempting to escape the constant abuse he witnesses in his home. Finally he and his mother are shown to be safe in a Refuge, free to play. ‘Hide and Seek’ draws attention to wider forms of domestic abuse, from physical abuse to coercive control and hauntingly shares the harsh, but true reality experienced by so many up and down the country today.

The film will showcase across Picturehouse’s 25 cinemas nationwide to shine a light on the important work Refuge does. The immersive power of cinema brings to the big screen the harsh reality of domestic abuse and the profound effect the issue has on women and children; but also the positive and empowering change that support from Refuge can make to their lives.

Nikki Lindman, Creative Director at BBH London said: “BBH has a proud, long-standing relationship with Refuge, creating compelling work for such a vital charity that saves and changes the lives of abused women and their children. The chance to continue that legacy, and reach people like never before, has been a humbling experience for everyone involved. We hope the campaign will resonate deeply with cinema-goers and the public as a whole to make a life-saving difference.”

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge said: “Never before in Refuge’s history has such a major campaign been launched. The unprecedented exposure that Hide and Seek will receive by being aired before all ‘15’ certificate films that run day in, day out, across all the screens housed in the 25 Picturehouse cinema locations is phenomenal. With one in four women experiencing the issue and two women a week being killed by a current or former partner, I have no doubt that the impact of this campaign will save and change many lives.”

Clare Binns Joint MD of Picturehouse Cinemas said: “I’m delighted to have Refuge as our new charity partner. At Picturehouse, we believe cinema can really change lives and broaden perspectives. Seeing the work Refuge does and the transformative effect the services have on people’s lives makes this a charity we’re proud to be working with. Using our growing family of cinemas we can raise huge awareness and much-needed funds for the important work Refuge does. We can't wait to get started.”

Refuge’s work has attracted some brilliant ambassadors. These include Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, Helen Mirren, Fiona Bruce, Helena Bonham Carter, David Morrissey and Bafta and Oscar-winning actor Olivia Colman who starred in the shocking domestic abuse 2011 drama Tyrannosaur, as well as the multi-award-winning 2018 film The Favourite.

Speaking of the Picturehouse Partnership, Olivia Colman said: “Picturehouse and Refuge is the perfect partnership to connect huge audiences to important, life saving matters. Cinema has the most amazing power to illuminate and to create compassion regarding subjects we find difficult to talk about or recognise, or accept as a daily occurrence. Through Picturehouse’s partnership, thousands of people will discover Refuge’s crucial work. And benefit from it. How brilliant.”
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