Cricklewood friends crowdfund to start filming their local short Neext!

Actress Liza van der Smissen with Neext! producer Nicole Lieberman

Actress Liza van der Smissen with Neext! producer Nicole Lieberman - Credit: Archant

Two friends aiming to put Cricklewood firmly on the map are calling on the community to help them produce their first short romantic comedy film.

Actress Liza van der Smissen plays Keira in Neext! shot in Cricklewood

Actress Liza van der Smissen plays Keira in Neext! shot in Cricklewood - Credit: Archant

Producer Nicole Lieberman and actress Liza van der Smissen have written Neext! a nine-minute short to be filmed entirely around Cricklewood, where the pair also live.

They have already raised £1,256 and hope to reach £8,500 by the end of September when, with an all female crew, they will begin shooting scenes.

Keira, played by 27-year-old Liza, is a sophisticated and tough woman who goes through life with her mantra ‘Neext!’ for anything that doesn’t go according to plan, be that work or romantic partnerships.

Nicole, who lives in Cricklewood Lane, said she and Liza “instantly bonded” when they met at the London Film Festival last year and discovered they were neighbours: “When we realised we both lived in Cricklewood we decided to work on a project together. Cricklewood has never been captured on film and we want to portray it in a positive light. We also decided to have an all female crew which helps create a lead character so that she becomes a reflection of all of us.”

Neext! all femail crew (Picture: Nicole Lieberman)

Neext! all femail crew (Picture: Nicole Lieberman) - Credit: Archant

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The 36-year-old added: “Neext is about taking the next step, trusting that when you’re real and authentic the right opportunity will come your way. Our message is to inspire all women and men to be proud of all their different sides without caring about social stigma.

Liza said: “Most of the time female characters are really stereotyped. Keira does kickboxing, she works for Amnesty, is flirty and sexually free. There’s something of her in all of us. I’m so excited to be playing her.”

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Locations so far include the market on Cricklewood Lane, outside the Crown hotel, and a scene in La Esquina coffee shop on Cricklewood lane. Local people will also be invited to star as extras.

The women plan to take the film to national festivals and also distribute it nationally and will use the money raised to pay the crew “at least a minimum wage”, props, post production and festival entries.

“If it’s successful, the idea is to develop it further,” Nicole added: “We’ll start with a short film then take it to the next level, create new stories of living day to day in Cricklewood.”

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