Hopetown is an independently-made short film by Westley Gibbons and Tony Briggs. It follows Jon who, after missing his last train home, finds himself wandering the streets of the city. Tormented by issues with his father, he suffers the night from hell until salvation arrives in the form of two unlikely allies. With their help he finds a way home, in every sense of the word.
Influenced by the work of Mike Leigh, John Schlesinger and Ken Loach, Hopetown is a character piece about three people, drawn together by chance. Each live in the shadows and each struggles with regret, expectation and remorse. Yet all three are surviving with their strength, love and hope. Filled with comedy and heartfelt emotion, Hopetown is beautifully shot in black and white and showcases excellent performances from three lead actors, Steve Furst as Dustin, Grant Gillespie as Brendan and Aakash Kashul as Jon.
'Wez and I have been mates since working together as black & white printers in Soho in the eighties and have always wanted to make a film so, after the first Covid19 lock-down, we began production of Hopetown. As a badge of honour I shot Hopetown entirely on my Nikon D5, my day-to-day stills camera, all on one lens and lit entirely with available light. Relying on the Nikon's ridiculously sensitive digital chip and just one assistant with a reflector... I think in context, Hopetown is a beautiful thing. It had a very low budget and a minimal crew and we shot the entire script in just four days. The project was delivered from concept to screen in just eight months. I'm particularly pleased with the finished feel of the film, we spent a lot of time making it feel like 16mm monochrome neg, giving it the 'film noir' treatment which adds a whole extra layer of glamour I think.'
"It’s always a pleasure to come across a short film that packs such an emotional punch. ‘Hope Town’ wears its heart well and truly on its sleeve. Set In London it pulls a truly disparate group of characters together for just one night. From the world class editing to the standout performance from Steve Furst it’s a small film with a huge impact. It perfectly captures a group of truly lost souls and its thoughtful soundtrack drives us towards its satisfying conclusion. Sharp direction. Beautiful imagery. Characters you care about. A standout piece for me"
Phil Ryan, Storm Productions.