My Life in Cat Years is a 12 minute short film centred on an intimate portrait of an estranged family. Marie (Edith Bucovics), at 29, has forged her own life independently of her wealthy parents and in particular her overbearing father. Upon hearing of her father’s death however, Marie must return home and, once there, work through the issues she has with her now distant family. Marie is thrown into contact with her elder sister Iris (Rebecca Todd); pregnant, happily married and the apple of her parents’ eye, as well as their mother Julia (Maureen Bennett), struggling to maintain her carefully-constructed aspirational lifestyle whilst coping with the death of her husband. When her father leaves her a vintage motorcycle in his will, Marie sees the act as a final snub from a man who barely understood her. Ensuing conversations with kindly solicitor John Weaks (Alan Booty) and Marie’s sister Iris begin to reveal a different side to the man Marie knew, and she starts to suspect that there was more to their relationship than she assumed. The motorcycle takes on a totemic quality for Marie, becoming symbolic of her father’s acceptance of her independent lifestyle. Calling upon influences as diverse as Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale and Tamara Jenkins The Savages, as well as evoking themes of family, estrangement, life, death and alienation, My Life in Cat Years is the fourth film from BFI Film Futures Best Documentary award winning director Bertie Telezynski.

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