Zillah Bowes is a Welsh/ English writer, director and artist. Her short film STAYING/ AROS MAE won the Grand Jury Prize at Premiers Plans Angers Film Festival and Special Mention at Encounters Film Festival in 2021, and screened internationally including Palm Springs ShortFest. Her short film ALLOWED premiered at Edinburgh International Film Festival, won the Jury’s Stellar Award at Thomas Edison Film Festival and was listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize in 2022. She trained at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and her debut as a director SMALL PROTESTS was nominated for a Grierson Award and won the Current Short Cuts Vimeo Award and Best Short Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival.
As a cinematographer, her films include ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival
On her 18th birthday, Ceri arrives at the donkey sanctuary where she works, looking for refuge from her violent mother. Her boss David lets her stay in a caravan. She ignores a message from her mother, continuing an affair with married David, but leaves after he coerces her into sex. On a bus, she receives a message her mother has harmed herself, asking for Ceri to collect her. Changing buses, she meets River, a young protester preparing an action against the destruction of ancient oaks. He takes her to the trees. She asks to stay in his shelter and helps prepare a camp. They sleep together. When his girlfriend Rosie arrives, betrayed, Ceri leaves but is persuaded to return. A well-known protester arrives with others and Ceri connects to the cause. The development company move in. Ceri, River and Rosie occupy an oak, reconcile and sleep together. They are forcibly removed and a tree is chopped down. Sitting on the stump, Ceri lets out all her pain. She finally leaves to go to her mother.