If you ever get to heaven

Two sisters, three children, a monk and Elvis...on the road to Santiago

If you ever get to heaven is a feel-good family road movie. Produced by Amanda Atkins and directed by Joe Atkins, it was the first feature for our independent film company 43 Pictures, under the umbrella of 43 Media.

Joe and Amanda at the cast and crew screening
and at Cannes 2010 promoting the film

Beautifully shot on location in France and Spain by cinematographer Kyle Heslop, with a quirky and original screenplay by screenwriter Claire Jephcott, the film follows the fortunes and misfortunes of Jen Belstaff and her family as they find themselves travelling the old medieval pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain… in a VW campervan.

The film was a 43 Media project which involved the whole Atkins family. Inspired by their family road trip in 2007-2008, Joe and Amanda decided to start their life in France by setting up a small independent film company, and shooting a full length road movie. Joe directed and edited the film, and Amanda produced it and played the lead (stage name Amanda Garwood). Two of their children, Beth and Arthur, were in the film; and the other two, Harry and Luke, worked as crew.

Joe approached writer Claire Jephcott and the collaboration began. With the script signed off, and a strong and dedicated cast and crew assembled, they hit the road in the summer of 2009.  They shot for six weeks along the ‘Camino de Santiago’, which starts near the home of 43 Media in Le Puy en Velay, and passes through the Pyrenees into Spain, then all the way to Santiago de Compostela on the west coast.

If you ever get to heaven is now available to watch on 43 Media’s film YouTube Channel – 43 Pictures.

Cast and Crew

Amanda Garwood – Jen Belstaff

Claire Parker – Katie Saunders

Sam Kane – Elvis

Saul Jephcott – Geoffrey

Richard Shelton  – James Belstaff

Nicoletta Sedrani – Valery

Bethany May – Lucy Belstaff

Rudi James – Wills Belstaff

Arthur Michael – Jake Belstaff

Guillermo Cancelo – Spanish Farmer

Produced by

Amanda Atkins

Directed and Edited by

Joe Atkins

Screenplay by

Claire Jephcott

Cinematography by

Kyle Heslop – Director of Photography

Luke Atkins – Camera Assistant

Rémy Cizeron – Camera Assistant

Music by

Luke Atkins – “If you ever get to heaven”

David Coburn – original soundtrack

Sound Department

Harry Atkins – sound recordist

Jim Letts – sound editor

Script and Continuity

Hillary Sloss – script editor and continuity

Production Manager

Emeline Letellier-Laux – Line Producer

Art Department

Tyler Jephcott – Art Director

Stills Photographer

Hillary Sloss 

Stills Photos

Arthur Michael as Jake, Claire Parker as Jen's sister Katie, Amanda Garwood as Jen, Bethany May as Lucy, Rudi James as Wills
Amanda Garwood on the steps of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
Amanda Garwood as Jen Belstaff
Saul Jephcott as Geoffrey and Claire Parker as Katie
Bethany May as Lucy Belstaff
Sam Kane as Elvis
Sam Kane as Elvis
Arthur Michael as Jake Belstaff, Rudi James as Wills Belstaff and Richard Shelton as James Belstaff
Bethany May as Lucy Belstaff and Saul Jephcott as Geoffrey
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

During the shoot

Joe Atkins and Kyle Heslop in Santiago
First day of shooting in Santiago
Amanda and Bethany shooting in Carrion de los Condes - with a few spectators!
Joe and Arthur; director and actor; father and son
Kyle Heslop and Joe Atkins
Claire Parker and Amanda Garwood
Sam Kane, Joe Atkins, Kyle Heslop and Nicoletta Sedrani
Nicoletta, Joe and Kyle
Bethany, Rudi and Arthur
Arthur and Rudi
Shooting in the campsite in Santiago
The final concert