A Branching Story proudly funded by England's Illegal Money Lending Team.
The night is young and so are they.
When Liam and his two best friends Joe and Demi enjoy a drunken pub crawl, Liam manages to slip and smash his phone.
With an awful credit score, Liam turns to Joe to see if he can get a contract in his name. When Joe agrees to help, Liam feels on top of the world.
But great heights don’t last forever. When Liam is confronted by Joe about having not paid 3 months worth of phone bills, the two students erupt into a heated argument over money and responsibility, leaving them questioning their friendship.
But as one door closes, another opens.
After receiving a text from Demi convincing him to go out for a drink, Liam eventually caves in and enjoys a cosy night out courtesy of Demi. Comforted and relaxed by Demi’s company, Liam opens up to her about his financial struggles and how he feels like he has been a rubbish friend to Joe by taking him for granted. With an attentive ear, Demi notices a window of opportunity by offering Liam a solution to his problems - Erin.
After contemplating the offer, Liam decides to reach out to Erin for a loan. Lulled by her charm, sense of humour and generosity Liam feels like he is finally back on the straight and narrow.
But there’s a catch.
When Liam comes to terms with who Erin really is and the nature of her business, he soon realises that he has made a rod for his own back and that those around him have become the bait for Erin to torment him with.
With nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, will Liam free himself of his financial troubles?
why was 'Shark' created?
‘SHARK’ was commissioned by England's Illegal Money Lending Team to help raise awareness and highlight the risks and dangers around illegal money lending and loan sharks.
Within this particular project we wanted to bring to the foreground and bust the many stereotypes that surround loan sharks, such as who they are and what they look like as well as the ‘types’ of people who borrow money from them. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from or what problems you may be experiencing personally, emotionally, mentally, physically, socially or financially. Loan sharks are greedy and they are always looking to take advantage and exploit people.
Creating 'Shark' During Covid-19
When embarking upon 'SHARK', we were faced with many limitations as a direct result of COVID-19. In adhering to government guidelines, we kept both cast and crew to a minimum, in order to create a manageable “work bubble”, during this time.
Unfortunately, due to the lock down restrictions, we were unable to launch an open casting call. This meant we were unable to diversify our casting and had to cast actors and employ crew members who were already in support bubbles. However, as lock down restrictions begin to ease and the world begins to return back to stability, we are excited to be able to offer more opportunities for a more diverse range of actors and crew members.
What is a loan shark?
Loan sharks are unlicensed moneylenders who offer to “help out” people in need of a loan. In reality they charge extortionate interest, fees and often gain control over their victims to bleed them dry.
who could be a loan shark?
A loan shark could be anybody. It could even be someone you know such as:
People you never would have expected
Identifying The Characteristics And Behaviours Of A Loan Shark:
A loan shark might:
offer little or no paperwork, such as a credit agreement or record of payments
refuse to give information, such as the interest rate or how much you owe
take items as security, such as passports, bank cards or driving licences
increase the debt or add additional charges at any time
refuse to allow you to settle your debt
get nasty - they might resort to intimidation, threats or violence.
Borrowing From A Loan Shark:
If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions you might be borrowing from a loan shark:
Did they offer you a cash loan?
Did they not give you paperwork?
Did they add huge amounts of interest or APR to your loan?
Have they threatened you?
Are you scared of people finding out?
Have they taken your bank card, benefit card, passport, watch or other valuables from you?
If you are in need of financial support, help or guidance click on the following link below to find out more information.
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What happens next?
In Liam's situation Stop Loan Sharks would keep him safe, supported and informed while they investigate the loan shark. The team have prosecuted over 400 loan sharks and helped over 31,000 people like Liam.