The director of acclaimed new film Pin Cushion has told how she drew on her experience of being bullied into her big-screen feature debut.

Starring Lily Newmark, Joanna Scanlan and Chanel Cresswell, Deborah Haywood’s new movie features a mother and daughter who turn to fantasy and lies after things do not go well for them in a new town.

The British director told BBC Breakfast: “It is quite personal. I was bullied at school. I have drawn on those experiences… emotionally.

“That took me into adulthood as well. I struggled with assertiveness.

“It is that loneliness, you feel like you’re the only one. You feel humiliated and full of shame.

“When I wrote this, I thought, ‘I’m not going to say it was based on anything I went through’ because I was still ashamed,” Haywood, who previously made short films, said.

“But I thought that’s not going to help anyone and open up the conversation. ” 

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty said she had also experienced bullying, and had asked: “Did you get that feeling… that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach, that loneliness and that shame?”

I’m at @filmsdefemmes in Creteil with our Pin Cushion. Schedule 💕💕

A post shared by Pin Cushion (@pincushionfilm) on Mar 10, 2018 at 4:14am PST

The film has been described as “very British”.

But the director and writer said she had been surprised by the interpretation, saying: “I didn’t want it to be identifiable. I wanted it to be like a fairytale book.”