A Parkinson’s Comedy – A Father and Son’s Joyful Adventure
Short Comedy Drama Film
2021 | 18 mins
Production Company Bright & Colourful
A young filmmaker, Grant Taylor, brought the story of his father’s battle with Parkinson’s disease to the big screen with a short film called Ecstasy.
Ecstasy is a short comedy drama film following a son and his father with Parkinson’s as they try to buy “one pill”. Their goal? To give the father a chance to dance with his wife at her surprise birthday party.
Grant Taylor, 35, is Ecstacy’s writer and film director – now available to view online. When he was 11 years old, his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
The film takes inspiration from Grant’s father, Bob, who has bravely coped with Parkinson’s for over 20 years.
The lead role is played by Brian Bovell (known for Andor, The Missing, The Witches), joined by Nathan Bryon (featured in Ghosts, Benidorm, Some Girls), Holli Dempsey (seen in Black Mirror, Harlots, The Aliens), and Laura June Hudson (from Derek).
“You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it.” Grant Taylor
Grant explained his childhood feelings like this: “ He was 43 and the household’s main breadwinner. When my dad was diagnosed, the whole family dynamic changed. I was only 11 years old. It has had a massive impact; 11 is quite a pivotal moment in your life.”
“He had been a builder and a carpenter, both quite physical jobs, so he had to stop working and learn to live with the condition.
“As a family, we overwhelmingly try to be as positive as possible.”
Ecstasy was screened worldwide at OSCAR and BAFTA qualifying film festivals and won seven awards.
The movie garnered over £20,000 in crowdfunding, contributing over £2,000 directly to Parkinson’s research.
He said: “It’s been so particular hearing audiences react and speaking to them afterwards about their connections to Parkinson’s.
“I hope viewers laugh, cry, and have a little dance in their seats.”
In 2023, Parkinson’s Life interviewed director Grant Taylor to learn about the film’s reception within the Parkinson’s community.
Here is the interview with Sarah McGrath!
In our last interview, you spoke about the process of making your short film ‘Ecstasy’. What journey has the film been on since then?
The last time we spoke, my team completed two days of filming on ‘Ecstasy’, a comedy-drama about a man with Parkinson’s and his quest to buy an ecstasy pill with his son.
We planned to shoot the entire film in two days, but things didn’t go as planned – we had a burst tire on our lighting van and a biblical rainstorm that delayed things. We had to raise money so we could shoot for a third day. That was the day the UK entered lockdown due to Covid-19, so our crowdfunding efforts hit a standstill. Thankfully, when things opened up again, we raised the rest of our funds and completed our final day of filming. We raised over £20k to make the film, and it was important for the team to support Parkinson’s research. We were able to raise £1.5k towards research into the condition.
Best Comedy – Crystal Palace International Film Festival
Best Brıtısh Comedy – Discover Film Awards
Best Drama – Brighton Rocks Film Festival
Audience Award – Lonely Wolf Film Festival
Best Social Issue – Rob Knox Film Festival
Winner – Lift-Off Global Network
Honourable Mention, Best Dark Comedy – New Renaissance Film Festival
Nominated Best Sound Design, Underwire Film Festival
Finalist, ARFF Amsterdam
Edmonton International Film Festival – Oscar Qualifying
British Urban Film Festival – BAFTA and BIFA Qualifying
Bolton Internal Film Festival – BAFTA and BIFA Qualifying
Newport Beach Film Festival
Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival
The People’s Film Festival New York