Focus: Communications - Three minutes with ... Mandy Sherwood, freelance film director

What is your latest film about?

It's called Being Breast Aware, a 15-minute film I was commissioned to make by Media Trust Productions for Breast Cancer Care - I shot most of the film myself. It consists of a series of interviews with women. I wanted to keep it positive and inject some humour into it - so everyone in it is topless. I filmed it to look like Calendar Girls, where people are obscured by vases of flowers, but then they step aside and you can see they are topless. The film also includes an interview with a man who has had a mastectomy - this is important because most men probably think it couldn't happen to them.

Has it been successful?

It won the gold award at the recent Visual Communication Association Awards. The judges said it "made a thoroughly persuasive case for breast screening". When I first showed it to people, they said: "This film will save lives." If that's the case, it has to be the most important film I have ever made.

Is it the first time you have made a film like this?

Although I really like to make serious documentaries as well as lifestyle programmes, I have never made something as powerful as this - something that has the power to change lives.

Are there many film-makers willing to make these sorts of films?

Definitely. There are some commercial opportunities to make more hard-hitting films, but you can't always wait for your dream job to come along in television - you might be waiting a long time.

I know quite a few people who, although they enjoy what they do, really want the challenge of doing something worthwhile and would jump at the chance to make a film that can actually change things for the better.

Now that I know the Media Trust exists, I will definitely be looking at doing another film for it. I've been telling all my friends in the media about it.

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