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HSSW Trailer


Jake has only ever reported unexciting news in the local paper, but tonight he’s burdened with a much bigger task. Mr Tomassi, a father of a 4-year-old has had his car violently hijacked while parking up in the centre of town. The robbers disappear with the car, accidentally carrying the most precious cargo: his daughter Jessica.  Jake, who also is a father, feels very tense as he faces the desperation of Mr Tomassi. With his words, Jake lives through the terrible scene that happened that day. He grips Mr Tomassi’s hands and promises he will write the best article he can to help find his daughter. After a sleepless night, Jake receives a phone call from the paper editor saying his article is getting pulled. But the news gets worse.

Director's Statement

When I first read this news on the paper, my blood froze. It was told from the point of view of the journalist who had put his heart and soul into finding the missing child. I had to tell his story.

We focused the script on Jake’s emotional journey, as a journalist, but more importantly, as a father himself. His son Elliott, in fact, has a similar age to Mr Tomassi’s daughter. Jake can completely relate to the horror of having your child taken by a stranger. He is compelled to help in the only way a journalist can: by writing. However, the interesting take is that Jake ignores his own son’s birthday to help Mr Tomassi in his desperate quest of finding his daughter. This conflict between relatable fatherhood and the love for his own child will haunt Jake throughout the story. At the same time we have the incredible opportunity to observe the volatile reaction of a wounded father: with his daughter being taken, Mr Tomassi has hit rock bottom, however his behaviour seems natural and kind. 

I have always been fascinated by social masks and how each one of us is capable of faking emotions even if they go completely against to what we have inside. Mr Tomassi is a man of good values who is capable of sympathy even when he has lost everything. This film gave me the opportunity of giving these two fathers a voice to express their weaknesses, against the stereotype of leading white family men. Jake’s story has touch me in a way I can only imagine. This film makes me scared of having my own child and, more importantly, of being a horrible father.

How can we raise and educate a new human being if we can’t even handle our own emotions and consequent behaviour?

HSSW Synopsis



Francis Quigley is Jake

Francis is an actor and filmmaker from Birmingham. He studied at East15 Acting School and is now currently studying Assistant Directing at The National Television and Film School. Francis has a passion for film and as performer looks for film scripts that challenge viewers and offers something new.

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Mark Highfield is Mr Tomassi

Mark has been an actor for the past two and a half years in the Derbyshire filming community. His focus is to get into the character quickly in order to bring unusual personalities to life in the most visceral and instinctive way possible. He works in comedy, action and drama. While not on set, Mark is a passionate painter. 

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Nicola Brome is the Police Constable

Trained in Birmingham and London, the British actress Nicola Brome has played both lead and supporting roles in film, theatre and television productions. Whilst developing her range as an actor in her role choices, Nicola continues to build on earlier training received at IDSA and Birmingham Theatre School, with Inspire Actors Studio in Birmingham. Recent work includes roles for primetime TV and a popular Netflix series. When Nicola is not acting in amazing projects, she can usually be found salsa dancing, DJing or playing classical Piano. She might also be honing her recently acquired firearms and combat skills, ready for that next action role.

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HSSW Cast Crew



Alessandro Repetti is Writer/Director/Producer

Starting his career in Live News Television, Alessandro moves to Rome to enter the film industry as lighting crew during the production of PASOLINI, LA VERITA’ NASCOSTA (2011 Horizon Films), the true story of controversial figure Pierpaolo Pasolini’s murder. In 2012 Alessandro moves to the UK, where he graduates in Media Production BA (First Class Hons), with his first short film MASQUERADE (2014), a low budget adaptation of Dylan Dog, an Italian graphic novel. The film quickly gained success, especially after the graphic novel’s writer endorsed it publicly. In 2015 Alessandro wins the Jury Prize for Best Short Video at the Sforzato Wine Film Fest, in Italy. He makes his directorial debut on British television with COAST2COAST (2015-2016), a TV Series filmed across the USA, from LA to NYC. He then directs over 300 episodes of motoring television, in collaboration with Dave (UKTV). Alessandro makes a return to cinema, co-writing and directing the photography of Channel 4’s CAPPUCCINO (2018) and as first camera of BBC New Creatives’ SWIPED (2019) distributed on iPlayer. For the second year in a row, he is accepted as a member of the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew in London. Alessandro latest film HOW SCARED SHE WAS (2020) narrates the true story of how a car-jacking turned into the abduction of a little girl. Alessandro is currently in pre-production with PAPERCUTS and TRANSGRESSING (2021).

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Luke J Collins is Cinematographer/Writer/Producer

Luke J. Collins is a Writer, Director and DOP working in the UK. In the last three years he has won short film commissions for CAPPUCCINO (2018 - Channel 4 Random Acts) for which he was writer/director - and most recently short film SWIPED (2019 - BBC New Creatives) starring Will Merrick, which he wrote, directed and DOP’d. SWIPED has reached near a million views through BBC’s various social media channels and iPlayer, drastically outperforming other shorts made through the same scheme. SWIPED was named in BBC Arts BestOf2019 campaign and is looking to go to festivals in 2020.

Luke is a versatile DOP, having shot a number of short films in 2019, ranging from comedy, thriller and drama, all of which will be circulating festivals in 2020. Notably, he was DOP for BBC short film THE SIREN’S SONG (2019) which was broadcast on BBC Four. 

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Edward Towers is Sound Recordist/Foley Artist/Sound Designer

Ed is a young aspiring Foley artist who has a passion for collecting random objects to create the next wave of sounds. Working on How Scared She Was was a challenge he undertook to improve knowledge and experience in filmmaking sound design. HSSW required a solid passion for film audio, due to its quiet and eery scenes and the great amount of attention to detail needed to fulfil the director’s vision. From recording on set, through Foley effects, to recording the final mix of the film.  It was striking to see how incredibly story driven this powerful short film is.

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James Powley is Music Composer

James has enjoyed composing music since a young age, along with playing the trumpet and piano on the UK south coast. Further on, he developed a particular fascination in writing music for film. James wrote music supporting over 10 short films and documentaries, before graduating from Leeds College of Music in 2018. He also received exciting orchestral commissions featuring his works ‘Eventide Shadows’ for The Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra and ‘The White Queen’ for The Oxford Millennium Orchestra.

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Thomas Longstaff is Assistant Director

Thomas Longstaff is a Filmmaker from Coventry in the West Midlands. He has credits as an Assistant Director on multiple commissioned short films including Channel 4’s CAPPUCINO (2018), and BBC Arts/Arts Council England’s SWIPED (2019). Thomas is also Writer and Director of films such as TRAPPED (2016), BAD BREAK IN (2017), and BBC Arts/Arts Council England’s THE SIREN’S SONG (2019).

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Directed by Alessandro Repetti

Written by Luke J Collins & Alessandro Repetti


Francis Quigley

Mark Highfield

Nicola Brome



Produced by Alessandro Repetti & Luke Collins

Director of Photography | Luke J Collins

Jake | Francis Quigley

Police Constable | Nicola Brome

Mr Tomassi | Mark Highfield

Jessica | Jess

Vicky | Isabeau Popp

Chief Editor | Vicky Buxton

Elliott | Aubrey


First Assistant Director | Thomas Longstaff

Director of Photography | Luke J Collins

First Assistant Camera | Tom Laxton

Second Assistant Camera | Tim Merrylees

Location Sound Recordist | Edward Towers

Foley Artist | Edward Towers

Sound Designer | Edward Towers

Music by | James Powley

Additional ADR Recordist | Antek Rutczyński

Assistant to Jessica | James Downey

Assistant to Aubrey | Lucy Bradley-Biesok

Produced by | Alessandro Repetti & Luke Collins


Special thanks to Laura Collins & Robin McFarland

Thanks to Coventry University

Runners | Paula Roelas & Yosune Aston

A film by Alessandro Repetti



HSSW Gallery

On set

HOW SCARED SHE WAS | 2020 © Alessandro Repetti Filmmaker 



Thanks for contacting us!

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