Ben is a university lecturer who is grieving the loss of his wife and child. One day, his brother-in-law, Dennis, unexpectedly arrives on his doorstep with Radhika, a homeless woman who is fleeing an unhappy marriage.
Meanwhile, Latoya is a diligent and popular student taking one of Ben’s classes. Her brother, Wilhelm, is also in Ben’s class, but he hardly attends, preferring to sell weed on campus in a bid to finance his musical aspirations.
Things become complicated when Ben and Latoya get a match on a dating app while Ben is on a drunken night out. Furthermore, Ben’s world also unravels when he is threatened with redundancy for not being productive enough.
Tensions rise, then, as Dennis struggles to rearrange his life after losing his own marriage and falling into drink, while Latoya wrestles with depression and Wilhelm a mounting debt that sees him turn to dealing cocaine.
As Ben tries to work through his grief, and as all of the characters try to find meaning in their lives,
This is Cinema explores the lives of two very different families as worlds collide in contemporary London.
The film is thus about those who desire intimacy and trust in a city where neither is easily forthcoming, and where traditional barriers must perhaps be broken down if trust is to be found.
Set against the backdrop of the neoliberalisation of British university education,
This is Cinema will partially be shot in the areas of London where François Truffaut made his 1966 adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s famous 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 451. In this way, the film’s setting will echo Truffaut’s use of south west London spaces in order to investigate how in addition to politics, the very architecture of the city plays a role in placing the freedom of thought under threat.
Starring Al Trevill as Ben and Dennis Chua as Dennis,
This is Cinema is set to feature performances from various Beg Steal Borrow stalwarts, while also featuring performances from brand new collaborators, including Radhika Aggarwal as Radhika, Cherneal Scott as Latoya and George Morgan as Wilhelm.
Shot by stellar cinematographer Tom Maine, we also look forward to sound recording from Julio Molina Montenegro, as well, hopefully, as musical contributions from many of our long-standing collaborators (Radhika is the drummer in Extradition Order for whom we have shot a couple of music videos).
This is Cinema thus looks set to be a wonderful addition to the Beg Steal Borrow canon. And if you are interested in supporting the film, then please take part in our crowdfunding campaign, a link to which is available here.