The Sleep Films

Corinthia Hotel London commissioned two eight-minute films which were premièred in the hotel in May 2014 to launch our Sleep activity. The theme of the films was ‘The Power of Sleep’ and they were filmed in the hotel by two up-and-coming young filmmakers.

The filmmakers were chosen by a panel of distinguished film and media industry judges – including Director Mike Figgis and Producer Eric Fellner - as part of the hotel’s 2014 Artist in Residence programme.

Aspiring filmmakers Zawe Ashton (best known for acting as Vod in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat) and David Petch were selected from a list of 12 finalists for Corinthia Hotel London’s 2014 Artist in Residence programme from an original 68 entries.

Zawe Ashton's short film The Place We Go To Hide follows two sleepwalkers, Martha and Quentin, who check into a hotel as returning guests and live parallel lives during their waking hours. Little do they know that in their sleep, they fall for each other time and time again. The film poses the question: When it comes to human connection, are we actually sleepwalking through our waking lives?

David Petch's offering, We Always Do What We Want, focuses on Rae Parker, a beautiful singer on the edge of exhaustion but at the height of her career. Rae waits with her boyfriend/manager Caleb for the evening’s performance but she appears to have a more personal situation than she’d like to discuss.  As we are sucked further into Rae’s life we see the boundaries of her perception shift bringing us closer to her more fragile dreamlike view of the world.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges which included film industry gurus Eric Fellner Co-Chairman of Working Title Films, Sopranos’ Director Mike Figgis, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, and Downton Abbey Actor Dan Stevens, amongst others.

This is the first time the hotel has given the Artist in Residence prize to two entrants rather than the usual one.

This was because debate among the judges about Ashton and Petch’s proposals led to suggestions that the Artist in Residence award be offered to two entrants. Impassioned by the proposals and keen to see both made, Eric Fellner offered financial support and access to post-production equipment, and Mike Figgis offered to mentor the winners.

Mike Figgis said: “This is a residency – not just a place to kip during post production. It’s a place to get ideas. That’s why we liked Petch’s pitch.” 

Eric Fellner said of Zawe Ashton’s proposal: “I loved the idea of sleeping and walking and you have the romantic, the visual, and movement and it allows characters to go and do anything in the hotel.”

Corinthia Hotel London General Manager (at that time) Matthew Dixon said: “Recognising talent and creativity is what I do a lot of as a hotel manager. Our Artist in Residence programme is another way to nurture talent in the British arts.”

Zawe Ashton who has recently taken the jump from acting to writing and directing said: “I’m thrilled and equally terrified. Short films that are interesting are your calling card.”

David Petch said: “To make a film you need some kind of budget and commercial freedom so this opportunity is amazing.”



Amanda Berry, CEO of BAFTA - Steve Davies, CEO APA - Eric Fellner, Co-Chairman, Working Title Films - Mike Figgis, Director - David Glasser, COO The Weinstein Company - Sir John Hegarty, Founder & Creative Director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty - Isabella Macpherson, Co-founder, Arts Co - Amanda Nevill, Director, British Film Institute - Sarah Sands, Editor, Evening Standard - Justine Simons, Head of Culture, The Mayor’s Office - Dan Stevens, Actor - Lucy Tuck, Editor, Financial Times Life & Art - Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications & Creative Industries - Zain Verjee, Anchor, CNN International