True Love (Once Removed)

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True Love (Once Removed)
True Love (Once Removed) Film Festival Poster.jpg
True Love (Once Removed) Sacramento Film Festival Promotional Poster, 2004
Directed by Kevin Thomas
Produced by Phillippa Thomas
Liefer B. Daffinsson
Written by Debbie Moon at the Internet Movie Database
Starring Sean Harris
Philip Jackson
Sigurdur Skúlason
Harpa Ellertsdottir
Abigail Rosser at the Internet Movie Database
Music by Overlap
Cinematography Bob Pendar-Hughes at the Internet Movie Database
Edited by Bryan Dyke at the Internet Movie Database
Thomas Thomas Films
Release dates
  • 2002 (2002) (United Kingdom)
Running time
35 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

'True Love (Once Removed) is a British drama directed by Director, Kevin Thomas,[1] from the United Kingdom, based on an original screen play. The film stars Sean Harris, Philip Jackson, Sigurdur Skúlason, Harpa Ellertsdottir and Abigail Rosser. It is a film about the belief in a fated destiny vs. the free will to form a future.


Steven, played by Sean Harris, lives in an isolated fishing village. He is a fish gutter who must appear at the docks every morning where gutters are selected according to the day’s need. His meager earnings are spent on viewing his future in an illegal time machine. These time machines have been outlawed by the government due to their unintended consequences. Steven lives alone, but he knows someday he will be loved and who that woman will be-a psychiatric nurse in his future. However, his love is presently Bryony Lafferty, an 8-year old girl. Steven is not a pedophile. He is in love with the adult Bryony–a grown woman who tells him that she loves him.

Steven hints about the future with a local bus driver. Steven realizes that the bus driver also uses the illegal time booths and the driver’s experience has shown an unhappy outcome for the bus driver's marriage. The bus driver's wife will soon fall for her boss according to the future displayed by the time machines. Steven tells the driver that the bus driver should not worry, as the future may not happen. Steven, of course, does not really believe this. He believes the future is unchangeable. The bus driver, angry and cynical, tells Steven the same can happen to Steven's own future. Steven is easily swayed into believing his future may not come either. Steven is also growing impatient because he has a long time to wait before Bryony will become a woman. When Steven discovers that Bryony's family is selling their home and moving away he is frantic. He will never meet Bryony if the family moves away.

Steven sees a psychiatrist on an occasional basis, but he is at odds with advice because he only wants concurrence. The psychiatrist tries to impress on Steven that there is no fixed fate–it is the choices we make that determine our future.

When Steven discovers that Bryony's father's new job has fallen through and that Bryony’s family is not moving away, he is convince that the future was always unchageable. He begins working on a plan to place himself in Bryony's future. Steven tells the bus driver that nothing changes; the future cannot be altered, as proof since Bryony's family will not move away. The bus driver becomes more agitated because the bus driver will lose his wife to her boss according to the time booth. The bus driver goes off, getting very drunk. The bus driver’s wife is working at a petrol station. The bus driver confronts his wife over this predicted affair that only he has viewed. He beats her, pouring petrol down her throat.

Steven sets his plan in motion to get Bryony alone, but does not touch her. He apologizes and tells her that when they are together it will be wonderful, but in the future. He frightens her into screaming. Steven tells himself that what will happen to him (enforced incarceration in a psychiatric hospital) will put him in place so that he can meet Bryony as a nurse. Bryony’s parents come to the police station to take her home after her encounter with Steven.

The psychiatrist comes to see Steven at the police station where he has been arrested. The psychiatrist knows that Steven is not a pedophile and that Steven uses the illegal times machines and created a faked attempt to get himself placed into psychiatric care. Steven begs the psychiatrist to say the right words that will keep him confined.

The news comes on the television with a report about the attack on the woman at the petrol station. Her employer is now constantly at her bedside while she recovers. What the bus driver feared will now come true. However, the news also reports that in a further tragic set of circumstances, the drunken bus driver has crashed into Bryony’s parents’ car as they were taking her home from the police station after her scare with Steven.

The psychiatrist, seeing the news, rushes to the police station to see Steven, but Steven is being sent to a facility and the psychiatrist does not tell Steven of the accident with the bus. Steven is taken to psychiatric confinement, satisfied that he has attained the first step he needs to be placed in Bryony’s future. However, Steven's true love is tragically dead, ironically caused by the events set in motion by Steven's plan to be with her-in their future.



Production for this film was by Thomas Thomas Films.[3]


Primary location filming was done in Iceland, with studio work in the UK.[4]


Won Best Live Action Short Film over 15 minutes in length at the Palm Springs Film Festival.[4] and Best Short Film at the Houston Film Festival as well as being selected for Clermont Ferrand, London Raindance and LA Short Film Festival and qualifying for Oscar nomination.[5] Made eligible for the 2004 Academy Awards where it was shortlisted.[1]