A documentary

From the River tells the story of a unique and fascinating place - Sailor's Creek in Cornwall - exploring what happens when the romantic ideal of living outside of societal norms meets the harsh realities of modern life, and the harsher realities of nature.

about the film


For millennia Sailor's Creek has been a haven for wildlife, boats and people. A tidal branch of the Penryn River opposite to Falmouth, it is a place that is by turns magical and imposing, peaceful and chaotic, beautiful and ugly.

A dwindling number of human residents live off grid in the hulks of luggers, leisure yachts and fishing boats, many of which are in a state of advanced decay. The dangerous nature of the creek ensures that wildlife is free to make a home amidst the rust, rotten timber and fibreglass - untroubled by the heavy footfall that such a place would normally suffer, so close to an urban centre.

But change is fast approaching. After a tragic accident the creek has passed into new guardianship. A collective of boat builders, environmentalists and developers have leased the land with a view to regeneration - making the creek safe for laying up and mooring boats, cleaning up the environmental impact caused by years of neglect, and working with the remaining residents to find solutions to their housing needs.


From the River will ask what it means to live an environmentally conscious life in modern Britain, and at what price do we compromise our beliefs.

We will explore how - in this era of rising tides and falling qualities of life - even common aims can generate misunderstanding and conflict between people.

We will look at the different situations that lead people to a life that most would consider brutal, and meet the people who have made this unique and unforgiving place their home - a home they will not readily leave.


We plan to talk to each of the stakeholders - past residents, current residents, the landowners, the new leaseholders Sailor's Creek CIC - to build up a portrait of the place, capturing it at the cusp of change.

We will interview experts on housing and the environment, exploring how local pressures on housing and services push people to the margins of society.

Yet it is the creek herself that is the most important character in the film. Everything that happens in our film is at the will and whim of her tides and weather.


Sailor's Creek lies a mile west of the village of Flushing. It is said to be a place where 'boats go to die'. It is a place that - depending on the viewer - inspires fascination, nostalgia, or fear. Over the years travellers, residents and interested parties have found the creek. Some move on, and some stay. Some of those who have stayed have left a huge impact on the place, it is their stories that fascinate us the most.

Aims & Objectives

Through the film we want to provide a space to allow the contributors to vocalise the hurdles and conflict they face as the regeneration of the creek begins. We also wish to offer insights as to what draws people to live on the creek. And in some cases, what keeps them there.

We are in a unique position to put across many sides of this fascinating story and offer a platform to the voices of those who are presently involved and to those who have drifted through.


It is an honour to document the fascinating stories and draw out our own story from Sailor's Creek. It has not seen such change for decades and we have been incredibly fortunate to be here to document this change.

Any one that contributes to this film has given their consent and we are here purely to document their current lives and intentions. All contributors will be closely involved with the film making process as it progresses. Where anyone does not wish to be filmed we will, of course, oblige.