DOCUMENTARY: Cheap And Charming – The Houseboat Experience


This year, Rife magazine teamed up with BFI Film Academy’s 2015 class of documentary makers to create four films about life for young people in Bristol.

First up is ‘Cheap And Charming – The Houseboat Experience’, a film about alternative lifestyles. Given that this year is European Green Capital, housing and living costs are at an all-time high and young people are the most affected by the low employment rates, we thought it would be good to make a film about different ways of living if you’re close to the breadline. What we have is this documentary, about the houseboat Clyte, and it is a tender, warm-hearted love letter to living on the water and only paying £10 a month for your electricity (there’s more to it obvs) but you know…

Find out why Clyte’s owner will never choose to live in a bog standard house ever again.

Ella, who came up with the concept for the documentary and acted as Producer, said of the film, ‘I think it’s really interesting to see how people can live so close to you and yet so differently. There’s so much to learn from the people around us’.

This short documentary was made by young people on the BFI Film Academy programme delivered by Watershed.

The BFI Film Academy Bristol identifies and nurtures young talent (16-19-year-olds) so they have the skills and knowledge to thrive in the film industry.

What other tips do you have for cheap living or alternative lifestyles? Would you live on a houseboat? Is the living situation in Bristol so bad that you need to take to the water? Let us know @rifemag #bfifab #clyte 

Related Links:

‘Generation Breakdown: Why I (And Probably You) Can’t Afford A Mortgage Till 2028’ by Sammy Jones

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.