New Town Utopia is a story of utopian dreams and concrete realities – a feature documentary about the British new town of Basildon, Essex. Featuring the voice of Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge, Iris). Directed by Christopher Ian Smith (Arterial, Cumulus) and Executive Produced by Margaret Matheson (Scum, Sid and Nancy, Sleep Furiously).
After WW2, British new towns were planned as social utopias, designed to create a ‘new type of citizen’. They were built with homes by progressive architects, modernist public artworks, and a plethora of green space. But now, Basildon is considered to be a cultural vacuum, with an infamous reputation, fragmented community and failing economy. What happened to the utopian dream?
An psychogeography through populated ruins, New Town Utopia is brought to life through the stories and performances of artists, musicians and poets of Basildon. Facing austerity, adversity and personal tragedies – these individuals are driven by creative spirit to help their community through art, poetry, music… and puppets.
New Town Utopia was released in cinemas in 2018 to widespread acclaim. It is now available on VOD and DVD. For more information go to: newtownutopia.com.