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Stepping Stones


“The whispers of your purpose are for your ears alone”. This short experimental film uses poetry to provide an introspective reflection of lessons learnt over time, and explores the messiness of growth.

Our Review

This film fuses the use of spoken word poetry, visual images, and sound to create a stronger presentation.The meaning of it it being conveyed by integration of words and visuals. The directors statement already speaks volumes of what she wishes to convey and has definitely done justice to the same

Director Biography - Funke Alafiatayo

Funke is an international award-winning Filmmaker from Manchester, UK. Although not from a traditional film background, she has always had a passion for visual storytelling, in particular stories that challenge and inspire. Funke co-directed her first narrative short film, ‘Hatima’, which was funded by Bumble’s inaugural Female Film Force competition and screened at several film festivals including BAFTA-Qualifying Underwire. Her short film ‘P.E.A.C.E. — a Spoken Word’ is the first and only UK winner of the International Emmys’ JCSI Young Creatives Award in New York. She collaborated with the other YCA winners around the world to remotely create a short film in response to the Pandemic, which is currently doing a festival run. Most recently, Funke has been commissioned by New Creatives, where she has written and directed a short film which will be available to view on BBC platforms later on in the year.

Director Statement

Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones” — this has become somewhat of a mantra for me recently. Reflecting on experiences in the past can often be viewed through a negative lens, and we often get stuck in a loop of over-analysis, self-criticism and regret. However, there is a lot of learning and growth that can happen in the discomfort. I asked, if given the opportunity, what advice would I give to my younger self to help her navigate through those experiences? I am enjoying being bolder in my storytelling, experimenting with ways to create holistic and immersive work. I wanted to blur the line between past and present, memory and reality, but there still needed to be cohesion. The Soundscape is the driving force of the film and this was thought through before any other aspect. I wanted the audience to feel as though they had been given access to this very personal inner dialogue. Visually, I chose a 4:3 aspect ratio for its nostalgic feel, and shot mostly close-ups to enhance intimacy. Shots for the younger character were handheld, representing the freedom and innocence that comes with childhood; juxtaposed with the static shots for the older character, as life can feel more restrictive as an adult in many ways. Despite the planning, it was also important to play, so the edit was a crucial part in crafting this film. With most of my personal projects, I tend to wear all of the hats. As much as I enjoy each process, I was really keen on using Stepping Stones as an opportunity to collaborate with some very talented creative friends of mine. Nellie and I have worked together on a project previously and I knew her attentiveness and patience would be important to the edit. Mary is a writer and poet in her own right. She has a captivating tone of voice that I knew would lend itself really well here and thankfully she agreed. Lydia is a super talented illustrator who was meticulous in creating the beautiful poster for the film. And as always, my family were on hand to support either in front of or behind the camera where necessary. It was a cathartic experience making this film, and I hope the viewer will take a second to reflect and think what advice they would give to their younger self. Additionally, to consider how far they have come — what stumbling blocks have they managed to turn into stepping stones? I hope that this film is a reminder to not limit yourself and to trust your instincts.


  • Funke Alafiatayo Director Everything's Fine, P.E.A.C.E. - A Spoken Word, Hatima

  • Funke Alafiatayo Writer Everything's Fine, Intersection, P.E.A.C.E - A Spoken Word

  • Funke Alafiatayo Cinematographer

  • Nellie Khossousi Editor

  • Gabrielle Key Cast "Little One"

  • Funke Alafiatayo Key Cast "Big One"

  • Mary Akinsulire Key Cast "Narrator"


  • Project Type: Experimental, Short

  • Genres: Spoken Word, Poetry, Experimental, Micro-short

  • Runtime: 1 minute 29 seconds

  • Completion Date: June 8, 2021

  • Production Budget: 0 USD

  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom

  • Country of Filming: United Kingdom

  • Language: English

  • Shooting Format: Digital

  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3

  • Film Color: Color

  • First-time Filmmaker: No

  • Student Project: No

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