With just 18 days to go before the U.K. is set to exit the European Union, Sky has acquired “NYET! – A Brexit U.K. Border Farce.” The timely short film hails from Alex Helfrecht, Jorg Tittel and Philip Munger’s shingle Oiffy (“The White King”) and will be available to millions of Sky subscribers in the U.K. on the Sky Arts channel.
“NYET!” mines a seam of black humor in which post-Brexit British border ports are clogged and there is an illicit trade in food from the European mainland. The short stars Olivia Williams (“An Education”), Beatie Edney (“Poldark”) and Garry Mountaine (“The Lobster”) alongside newcomers Gabriella Moran and Dimitri Gripari. Moran and Gripari play a young couple caught in post-Brexit customs hell in the film. The actors all gave their time for free.
The U.K. is entering another crunch week regarding Brexit, with talks with European Union negotiators deadlocked and a crucial vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for the Britain’s withdrawal set to go before Parliament.
In the film and TV business, there have been warnings of the effects of a Brexit that sees the U.K. leave the E.U. without a framework for a trade deal. A vocally pro-“Remain” crowd gave “NYET!” a warm reception at a screening in London last Friday. The “Leave” side won the referendum by a slim majority of voters in 2016.
“NYET!” will go out in a primetime slot on Sky Arts on March 17.
Post-screening last Friday, there was a lively debate about Brexit and the role of satire in society. David Schneider, who wrote the screenplay for “The Death of Stalin” with Armando Iannucci, said called humor a useful Trojan horse in polarized political times and a useful “way of smuggling in a message and getting a conversation going.”
“Part of what I’m trying to do…is spread a message and change people’s minds,” Schneider said of his own work. “Sometimes I just rage – but sometimes I ask, how can I state this hypocrisy in a way that is funny?”
Check out the trailer for “NYET!” below.