Guests: Rene van Pannevis, director; Jennifer Eriksson, producer; Jessie Mangum, producer




First Feature Competition

United Kingdom
2019, 85 min
Dir: Rene Pannevis
Prod: Jennifer Eriksson, Jessie Mangum
Scr: Kefi Chadwick, Rene van Pannevis
DoP: Aadel Nodeh-Farahani
Music: Tony Coote
Ed: Christian Sandino-Taylor
Cast: Charley Palmer Rothwell, Thomas Turgoose, Tom Fisher, Morgane Polanski, Anders Hayward
Production: BBC Films, Riverhouse, BFI Film Fund
Language: English


Rob spends his days stealing cars with his gang in a town on the English coast. It’s a life living outside the law, one of thrilling abandon and excess. But when he returns to his home every night, Rob’s life changes. Faced with a terminally ill father, Rob’s hedonistic activities are pushed aside for a façade of respectability. Becoming increasingly tested by web of lies he’s creating, Rob’s two worlds soon threaten to collide as the looming threat of him taking part in a clandestine raid at the local docks – a place with special significance for his father – becomes ever more apparent.

The debut feature of Rene Pannevis has many of the elements of a gritty, social realist crime drama. But Pannevis plays with many of the traditional conventions of the genre. The bleak council estates may still be there but they’re daubed in hazy sunshine amongst the faded glory of a British seaside town. Any bleakness is tempered by glimmers of hope, the energy of youth and the promise of something better for all concerned.

While the film works admirably as a crime thriller, with Pannevis proving adept at racking up tension, this is also a tender study of its characters and a considered exploration of moral ambiguity.

Charley Palmer Rothwell shines in the lead as Rob, with a performance rooted in vulnerability and he’s ably matched by a superb performance by vastly underrated UK actor Tom Fisher as Rob’s father. They’re joined by an equally mesmerising cast, amongst them Thomas Turgoose, most noted for his work with Shane Meadows including the lead role in This Is England.

Laurence Boyce


Rene Pannevis received BA Film Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands (2007). The same year he enrolled at NYU Tisch under artistic guidance of Oliver Stone, and received MFA directing in 2013. He then moved to London, where he wrote and directed the short film “Jacked”, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2016 and won many awards including Best Short at the 2016 BIFA’s. Rene wrote the feature “Looted”, which was selected from hundreds of applicants for the Microwave feature scheme funded by Film London, BFI and BBC Films.






© 2019 NGO Black Nights Film Festival