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With Gangs of London, its blood-soaked action drama from The Raid filmmaker Gareth Evans now screening on ad-free streaming service AMC+ in the U.S. after having premiered on Sky in the U.K. earlier this year, Pulse Films has lined up another, rather different, scripted series.
The growing production and talent management banner has picked up the rights to What Have I Done?, the acclaimed memoir by British performance poet and author Laura Dockrill, and is planning a “genre-defying scripted adaptation.” Dockrill is on board to write the project.
Released in April by Penguin Books imprint Square Peg, What Have I Done I? is described as a raw, courageous and honest recovery story that breaks the silence on one of life’s best-kept secrets, post-partum psychosis.
“Written from the frontline of mental illness, this heart-breaking and uplifting memoir is about resilience, love and finding your way to the other side,” according to a description. Adele, a close friend of Dockrill’s, describes the memoir as “a book to save a whole generation of women.”
Dockrill could not wait to meet her new baby, but as she went into labor, things began to go wrong and she started to struggle. A traumatic birth, anxiety about the baby, sleep deprivation, a slow recovery — all these things piled up until Dockrill, like any new mum, felt overwhelmed. Despite this grueling experience, her story is a hopeful one. Not only has she gotten better, she has come out on the other side stronger and more assured. Now she is determined to break the stigma around post-natal mental health, shatter the romanticized expectations of perfect motherhood, and empower parents with the message — you are not alone.
“Revisiting my experience of postpartum psychosis is not something I can get wrong, I value my recovery so much. I see What Have I Done? as precious cargo! Writing the book saved my life. So, if I was going to retell the trauma for screen I had to collaborate with an indestructible team that were willing to push storytelling to the limits, without boundaries or compromise,” said Dockrill.
“A team that were unapologetic, tenacious, courageous and ambitious. With guts. And motivated by their hearts. A team that would ride down this mystifying road with me – ugly monsters and all. That are going to take the leap. My story, as scary as it is, is ultimately a human-being story- it is a story of true love. And that’s what Pulse Films are all about; truth and love. And that is what is needed to conceive something that people can believe in. They say it takes a village to make a baby, it takes the same to breathe life into a story too. And I feel very proud and excited to have Pulse Films in my village.”
Dockrill’s past work includes the recently BAFTA-nominated short film Goldfish — which Pulse Films produced — and CILIP Carnegie Medal nominated books, including the YA novel Lorali and the Darcy Burdock series, which also was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
“What Have I Done? is an urgent and vital exploration of female mental health, which manages to transcend the personal confines of Laura’s own experience through an intricacy of storytelling that feels at once both singular and universal,” said Abigail Dennis, Pulse Films’ head of development. “Having devoured the book in one sitting, we all knew instantly that this was a project we simply had to bring to the screen here at Pulse Films. Working alongside Laura on Goldfish was an absolute joy, and we are delighted to be continuing the relationship and embarking on a new journey with her and her ground-breaking memoir.”
Added Pulse Films CEO Thomas Benski: “We are honored that Laura has entrusted us with her story, and I am excited for the big plans we have for the adaptation process and know the result will be a game-changer. This project also demonstrates our studios development and diversification and speaks directly to our mission to elevate young talent, tell fresh stories and shift the conversation.”
Benski and James Sorton will serve as executive producers for Pulse Films.
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