Polly Steele

    LET ME GO (2017) Director | Screenwriter

    Starring Juliet Stevenson, Jodhi May, Lucy Boynton and Karin Bertling, the screenplay, Let Me Go, is based on the true-life story of Helga Schneider who was abandoned by her mother in 1941 when she was only four years old. The film is set in the year 2000, following not only Helga and her mother’s journeys but the next two generations and how they suffer from the trauma created over 70 years ago. ​ ‘LET ME GO’ is a film about mothers and daughters, about transgenerational family relationships, about ghosts from the past and the impact they leave on the present. It is a film about letting go of your past wounds and acknowledging how many generations it takes before the scars of trauma start to heal.


    Documentary about the life of Elton John

  • Women Talking Dirty
    Women Talking Dirty (2001) Producer

    Feature film

  • The Polar Bears of Churchill
    The Polar Bears of Churchill (2008) Director

    Ewan Mcgregor travels to the Arctic to meet the Polar Bears

    THE COST OF FREEDOM (2021) Director

    THE COST OF FREEDOM “My commitment to my people, to the millions of South Africans I would never know or meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most.” The sentiment that Nelson Mandela expressed in previously unheard audio forms the foundation of this moving and deeply personal film revealing the unspoken damage to the women and children of the freedom fighters who put their country before everything else. Told through the testimony of the wife and daughter of one of Mandela’s most trusted friends, The Cost of Freedom exposes the devastating impact of the political choices that this group of men took in putting their country first. Whilst the country gained freedom the ‘foot soldiers’, as Mandela referred to them, continue to suffer the repercussions through to the present day. THE FILM The film will be told from the perspective of the two women in the family – Joey represents the present and her mother Zarina the past. Interweaving the context of the time that the family lived in and through – the historical place the Indian population had within South African society and within the wider story of the struggle against apartheid – the film will reveal the conflicts they faced and the choices that Zarina and Joey made on a near daily basis to protect each other but also the cause. With exclusive access to Zarina, Joey, Mac and their family this film entwines the story of the apartheid struggle with the emotional and psychological struggle that it had on all of them that continues to impact their lives today. Milou, Zarina’s son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and both Joey and Zarina struggled to cope with the loneliness and extreme stress levels they experienced during many years of exile. Its clear that it’s time for the next generation to pick up the mantel of their parents, but Joey and her brother Milou’s lives have taken very different journeys and now the family as a whole is forced to confront the challenges of dealing with mental health issues in their midst. The Maharaj story represents a microcosm of South Africa’s history at its most important moment. However, theirs is a universal story, not one constricted by national borders or South African history. It speaks to every generation who have had to address the actions of their forebearers in order to free themselves of the past. We have completed most of the filming but are looking for finance to finish the film. Promo on request. please contact pollysteele1@gmail.com

  • Baboon Woman
    Baboon Woman

    Woman who lives with the Baboons in South Africa

    LENA BRIDE OF ICE (2004) Director