Running Naked is a film written by Oscar and Emmy nominated film maker Victor Buhler (who also directs), Michael Knowles and Jennifer Knowles. Filming took place between 18 June and 7/8 July 2018 and the finished product was screened online on Thursday 4 February 2021 after its world premiere at the Beijng International Film Festival in 2020.
Running Naked has been described as a “feel good buddy dramedy”. At its centre are two life-long friends, Ben Taylor (played by Andrew Gower) and Mark Doherty (played by Matthew McNulty; Misfits, Black Work) who first met as teenagers when they were both patients in a cancer ward.
Twenty years later, they’ve developed into two very different individuals: Mark has become a successful doctor and ladies’ man working in the same hospital he was once a patient at while Ben has turned into a recluse in an unhappy job suffering from OCD.
Despite these differences, they’ve maintained their friendship over the years when a piece of bad news forces them to re-evaluate their lives and make some changes. Will these changes include Mark’s on/off girlfriend Jade (Rahkee Thakrar) and Sara (Tamzin Merchant; Carnival Row, Ark), the first decent girl Ben’s met in a long time?
Watch some of Andrew’s scenes from Running Naked here:
In our exclusive interview with director Victor Buhler, he described Running Naked as follows:
“Running Naked is about breaking through where you’re stuck mentally. The film main characters – Ben and Mark – open old wounds but they end up rediscovering their true selves.“
Writer/producer Michael Knowles mentioned in a video interview that a good slogan for the film would be “life is about living, not dying” and explained this further in our exclusive interview with him:
“We are all dying at different rates. The film touches how reflecting on this can positively affect how we live our lives. We need to be present in the moment and sometimes bad thing happening make you focus on this.”
Hiral Deugi, a young cancer patient who saw the film at an early screening, commented:
“For me personally, I never thought you could put comedy and cancer in the same genre, but the Running Naked team made it happen. Keeping it light-hearted and making me grin rather than cry just shows it was well put together. From the script, the cast, the whole movie storyline was brilliant. I laughed throughout because I could relate to the scenes.“
What critics had to say:
- “Basically, this film is super uplifting and will undoubtedly remind viewers to live life to the fullest every day, and to never become content with less than you deserve! And who doesn’t need that feel-good energy right now?!” (Buzzfeed)
- “There is an understandable sadness in the film but at its core the movie is a positive and life-affirming tale of friendship where warmth shines from the screen throughout. An unclothed and honest look at self-discovery in the face of devastating circumstances, Running Naked is a tender triumph that cleverly shows how support and laughter is a very much needed medicine.” (Midland Movies)
- “The acting was first rate, performed with smooth sensitivity and liveliness. A brilliant cast indeed leaving us with a long lasting impression of these beautiful people and their heartwarming story.” (normawarden)
- “I work with a lot of people who suffer from OCD and it’s refreshing to have a character portrayed accurately, movingly but in a humorous way too! The actors, the story and the scenery were breathtakingly captivating. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.” (spcounselling)
You can read more reviews here:
Watch more scenes from the film here:
Andrew Gower talked to journalist Journalist Sarah Bradbury (The Upcoming) about playing Ben, researching his OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and how it relates to a world in lockdown from an infectious disease.
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