Locked In: Breaking the Silence

RTS West of England returns to the stage

Credit: Jon Craig

Documentaries led the way at the RTS West of England Awards, with Locked In: Breaking the Silence and Earth at Night in Colour both collecting three awards each. 

Locked In: Breaking the Silence won both the Documentary and Director awards for film-maker Xavier Alford who has a life-changing illness. The BBC Four Storyville film, which the judges described as “powerful, poignant and brave”, con- fronts Alford’s fears as he discusses his illness with family and fellow patients. 

Cathartic documentary breaks silence

Xavier Alford

In Locked In: Breaking the Silence, which is made by Bristol indie Marble Films and aired at the end of November, Alford talks to doctors and fellow sufferers but, crucially, opens up to his family about a progressively worsening condition that causes muscle weakness and atrophy.

Following a diagnosis a decade ago, he felt a “responsibility”, as a documentary-maker, to make a film, but “felt way, way too raw – I wasn’t ready”. 

Alford was talking to Lynn Barlow at an RTS West of England event that offered a first look at the feature-length documentary.