Celebrated actor Jim Broadbent (Topsy-Turvy, Iris, Moulin Rouge) has been confirmed to provide the voiceover for the feature documentary New Town Utopia, a powerful, challenging documentary film about Basildon in Essex.
New Town Utopia is Directed by Christopher Ian Smith (Arterial, Cumulus). The Executive Producer is Margaret Matheson (Scum, Sid and Nancy, Sleep Furiously). It is due to be completed in June 2017 before playing at film festivals worldwide.
It is a film about grand utopian dreams and harsh concrete realities… Basildon was a town designed with new ideas and poetic ambitions, but 70 years on, it has a bad reputation, fragmented community and failing economy. What happened to the utopian dream?
Basildon’s story mirrors that of many British towns – wounded by globalisation, failed by national policy and barely surviving in the shadow of London. It’s seen as a political barometer of the state of the nation… from being ‘Little Moscow On The Thames’ in the 70s to home of Thatcher’s ‘Basildon Man’ in the 80s. It turned to Blair in the 90s and Brexit in 2016. Over the years it’s been labelled many things – most of them bad.
Jim Broadbent will play the voice role of Lewis Silkin, the driving force behind the building of British New Towns by Britain’s post WW2 Labour government.
New Town Utopia is an audiovisual journey through populated ruins – a story told through the performances, art and memories of passionate artists who’ve led challenging, often hilarious and sometimes tragic lives. This includes a puppeteer (and his angry puppets), poets, musicians and a painter. They share one thing in common, a refusal to give up creating, against all the odds. The Director, Chris explained why he is making this film:
New Town Utopia is a passion project about a place close to my heart. It tries to understand the complexities of a place so often derided. I’ve tried to do this in a way that reflects the eccentricities, creative spirit and down-to-earth humour of people and communities of Basildon. This is a film that needed to be made now – as the housing crisis grows, globalisation decimates traditional high streets, and the Brexit vote revealed the depth of dissatisfaction of people with their lot.
To view the teaser trailer for the film visit: https://vimeo.com/182321724