New Town Utopia is a story of grand utopian dreams and harsh concrete realities – a feature documentary about British New Town of Basildon, Essex. Directed by Christopher Ian Smith (Arterial, Cumulus) and Executive Produced by Margaret Matheson (Scum, Sid and Nancy, Sleep Furiously).
After WW2, New Towns were designed as social utopias, built to create a ‘new type of citizen’ – with public art, homes by progressive architects, work for everyone and a plethora of green space. Now a cultural vacuum, Basildon has a terrible reputation, fragmented community and failing economy. What happened to the utopian dream?
An audiovisual journey through populated ruins, New Town Utopia is brought to life through the stories and performances of artists, musicians and poets from Basildon. Facing austerity, adversity and personal challenges these are individuals driven by their creative spirit to help their community through art, poetry, music… and puppets.