Margarita Milne is a writer-director from London. She recently graduated from the NFTS with a Directing Fiction MA, for which she was awarded a scholarship from the David Lean Foundation. She also has a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge. Her first short film, La La Means I Love You, was nominated for Best U25 and Best Director at Underwire 2018, and she has since made four short films. Margarita’s interests lie in psychological thrillers and docu-fictions. She is also a photographer and singer. Prior to the NFTS, she was a Develop Ambassador for The Photographers’ Gallery and has continued her music project, Margie, while studying at the school.
For many children, finding out that Santa Claus is not real is a defining childhood trauma. As we researched the film, we found that this revelation is particularly traumatic for children who don’t figure it out on their own. Those who are told, taken totally by surprise, are often left feeling most upset and disorientated.
For Riley, the discovery is particularly tragic because her childhood has already been stolen away from her. She is now forced to confront her family’s complicity in the lies. We wanted to tell a story of childhood sexual abuse through the vehicle of Santa because Santa is a lie most of us uphold and promote, and so many victims of sexual abuse speak of their inability to tell the truth. When push comes to shove, how easy is it to always tell the truth – and do we like hearing it?
We shot this film during the Covid-19 pandemic and are proud of the results. We hope you enjoy the film.