New Town Utopia is a feature documentary In Production.
What happened when we built utopia? New Town Utopia is the story of the broken dreams of the new town experiment, told through the personal struggles and public battles of a misfit group of artists.
After World War 2, ‘New Towns’ were built across the UK as an antidote to war-ravaged, overpopulated cities with uninhabitable slums. These towns were designed to be hubs for arts and culture that would produce (in the words of the Government) “a new type of citizen, a healthy, self-respecting, dignified person with a sense of beauty, culture and civic pride.”
Now, in the Twenty First Century these towns have deteriorated, degenerated and desaturated, becoming cultural vacuums with failed economies, fragmented communities and no facilities for artistic endeavour.
New Town Utopia tells the story of a new town through the words and deeds of an oddball group of charismatic, mettlesome but sometimes self-destructive artists and musicians who keep ‘creating’ against the odds. Set against an exploration of the spaces, places and architecture of the town of Basildon in Essex, the film interweaves their music, poetry and art into their narrative.
Produced and Directed by Christopher Ian Smith