After WW2, New Towns were planned and built to be social utopias that would create “a new type of citizen, a healthy, self-respecting, dignified person with a sense of beauty, culture and civic pride.” 60 years on, the New Town of Basildon, Essex has a terrible reputation, a struggling economy, and a fragmented community. Art and culture are almost a distant memory.


What happened?




New Town Utopia is a feature documentary about the utopian dreams and concrete realities of a British New Town. An audiovisual journey of art, architecture and memory – the film is brought to life through the stories and performances of a group of artists, musicians and poets from Basildon. Facing austerity, adversity and personal challenges these are individuals driven by their creative spirit to improve their community through art, poetry, music… and puppets.


New Town Utopia is Directed by Christopher Ian Smith (citizensmith.net) and Executive Produced by Margaret Matheson (Sleep Furiously, Scum, Sid and Nancy).

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