New Town Utopia is a documentary film about utopian dreams and concrete realities. It’s the challenging, funny and sometimes tragic story of the British new town of Basildon, Essex. Directed by Christopher Ian Smith (Arterial, Cumulus) and Executive Produced by Margaret Matheson (Scum, Sid and Nancy, Sleep Furiously).


New Town Utopia features Jim Broadbent (Iris, Topsy-Turvy, Moulin Rouge) in voiceover.


It will be completed in June 2017 and then film festival submissions will begin.

After WW2, New Towns were designed as social utopias, built to create a ‘new type of citizen’ – with public art, homes by progressive architects, work for everyone and a plethora of green space. Now a cultural vacuum, Basildon has a terrible reputation, fragmented community and failing economy. What happened to the utopian dream?


An audiovisual journey through populated ruins, New Town Utopia is brought to life through the stories and performances of artists, musicians and poets from Basildon. Facing austerity, adversity and personal challenges these are individuals driven by their creative spirit to help their community through art, poetry, music… and puppets.