C shells documentary premiere

The Outhouse production “C-shells” was premiered today in Cambridge.

The film tells the story (in their own words) of inseparable childhood friends Els Bottema and Lida Lopes Cardozo Kindersley who grew up in Delft, Holland. Through much of their adult lives they took their own routes into creative careers as ceramic artist and letter-cutter respectively. In their 50s, their friendship was dramatically reignited into mutual support when they each contracted breast cancer within months of each other.

Lida and Els on the beach
Lida and Els collecting shells on the beach.

They tell the story of their confrontations with the disease and treatments.

Their friendship was an important part of their recovery with time spent together on a particularly wild part of the Suffolk coast, where their mutual creativity found a remarkable outlet in the form of a stunning piece of public art which has had a profound effect on many of those who have seen it.

For the past 12 years they have met up to refresh and rebuild the work whilst continuing conversations and revelling in their abiding friendship.

Their story is as remarkable for their creativity as it is for their response to diagnosis and recovery.


Peter and Jeremy at the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop
Peter and Jeremy at the Cambridge screening.

For this production Jeremy took the role of director and editor, whilst Peter served as DOP (Director of Photography).

Our flexibility across the many different roles required to bring a production to screen is really useful. We have a pretty good understanding of what’s needed and can call on each other for a second opinion, no matter what time of the day … or night!

We seem to be building a bit of a reputation for working collaboratively, not just with each other but with our subjects who, thankfully, report that they feel involved and respected throughout the production process. In particular, they report that they feel relaxed and confident, even in front of the camera.


Els and Lida on red carpet
Give Els and Lida a few shells and they’ll make a line!

It was quite fitting that the premiere was held at the Cardozo-Kindersley Workshop in Cambridge which was converted into a 40 seat cinema for the occasion, complete with red carpet. Els and her husband travelled from Holland for the occasion which needed two screenings to cater for the demand.

At the screening we were humbled to be approached by a number of people who had either been through cancer or were involved in supporting those affected. Many are now asking for the film to be available to people facing diagnosis and treatment. We are exploring how this might work – if you have any suggestions, we’d be really pleased to hear from you. Perhaps the easiest way is through the contact page.

After party

After party
The after party was a delight.

Of course, no premiere is complete without a red carpet and this was no exception, with the unique distinction that this one featured a mini shell line created on the day by Els and Lida!

The 25 minute film was in production over a four month period shot entirely on location and includes interviews and a sequence shot using our aerial filming rig.

Plans for further release are in progress but in the mean time the full film is available here … we hope you enjoy it and are motivated to share the link with others and let us know what you think of it in the comments section below.

Watch the film right here.

C shells
C shells

Read more about how the film came to be made here

2 Comments on “C shells documentary premiere

    • Thanks Jill.
      We’re just relieved that the film didn’t get in the way of two beautiful, strong and inspiring people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.