Following the huge success of Mrs Lowry & Son, Genesius Pictures have announced their latest project, The Rower, with filming underway in Scotland and Northumberland and co- produced with Messy Hands Productions.

Testing the power of endurance, The Rower is a feature documentary that will track the efforts of Stu Morton, an ex-Royal Marine, who is attempting a non-stop solo row from Lagos, Portugal to Miami, USA. If successful, Morton will be the first person ever to single-handedly row from mainland Europe to mainland North America. Morton will launch his bid on 28th October in Lagos, Portugal; averaging 75 miles each day, his estimated arrival date in Miami is 31st December 2019. The film will also look at the mental health issues servicemen and women like Morton have to deal with after leaving the forces.

The three-month rowing attempt will be filmed and produced by Genesius Pictures (Mrs Lowry & Son, The More You Ignore Me, Northern Soul) and co-produced with Messy Hands Productions a new NE production company. The Rower will be directed by Kate Blewett (Eyes of a Child, Slavery and The Dying Rooms), the internationally renowned, multi-Emmy Award and BAFTA winning filmmaker.

Equipped with 360-degree cameras, drones and surrounded by bespoke ground-breaking  filming equipment supplied by Extreme Facilities, The Rower will follow and capture the success of the challenge alongside the emotional, mental and physical setbacks. Whilst at sea, Morton will be supported by Leven Brown, himself a five-time Guinness World Record holder in ocean rowing. Leven will be in daily contact with Morton as he journeys to Miami and is responsible for directing his course to ensure that he steers clear of bad weather.

Director Kate Blewett said: “This feature documentary will explore the mind of The Rower, a man who lives with mental health issues and struggles with the stigma attached to his PTSD diagnosis – after trying to adapt to life after the forces. He is an extraordinary man with a story to tell. An ex Royal Marines Commando who has set himself the mission of rowing the Atlantic, solo and non-stop from mainland Europe to mainland North America, knowing there is a chance he might never come back.

“Why take on such a life-threatening journey? Because he needs big challenges to keep his mind in order. It’s a hardcore journey transitioning across to civilian life after serving time with the forces, without living with an added misdiagnosis of PTSD, when in fact it is mental illness he suffers, along with many other people. The Rower needs solitude.”

The Rower follows in the wake of Genesius Pictures’ hugely successful Vertigo Films release of Mrs Lowry & Son, starring Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave and telling the story of L.S. Lowry, which has drawn widespread critical acclaim and has already exceeded £1 million at the UK box office – making it one of the highest grossing independent films of 2019.

The record Morton is hoping to set has been logged with Guinness World Records and the Ocean Rowing Society who have confirmed that this crossing could set world records in two categories: the first person to row solo and non-stop from mainland Europe to mainland North America, and the fastest person to row solo and non-stop from mainland Europe to mainland North America.

Morton will be using the project as a vehicle to raise funds for Rock 2 Recovery via The Royal Marines Charity, an organisation which helps veterans living with  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health issues.

Stu Morton said: “To me, the row is more than just a colossal adventure that will test my physical and emotional resilience, it’s a chance to prove to myself and re-establish what I’m capable of. My hope is that my journey will show others that mental health is not something that must hold us back from achieving extraordinary things.”

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