Callan Allen’s pandemic drama “These Four Walls” will receive a multi-platform release in September.
A limited theatrical release via distribution platform OurScreen will roll out at art house venues across the U.K. in September, followed by a VOD and SVOD premiere on Sept. 24 on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Youtube, Sky Store and Curzon.
The film follows two best friends, Blue and Yasmin, who live in a forgotten seaside town on The Isle Of Sheppey, U.K. The pandemic forces Yasmin to return home from university and she rekindles a friendship with Blue. They break quarantine rules to hang out everyday in a local forest, where they get high to make the world go quiet. Yasmin complains about her life with her mother being a National Health Service worker and Blue hides a darker secret of living with his father who has schizophrenia.
“These Four Walls” was written and produced by 20-year-old Allen who also stars as one of the film’s leads alongside Yinka Awoni (“I May Destroy You”) and Grace Coulson-Harris, who makes her screen debut.
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The project was born when a television show Allen was working on was put on hold during the U.K. COVID-19 lockdown of summer 2020. He wrote the script for “These Four Walls” during this time and reached out to a colleague from the television show, Isabella Culver (“Seven Sisters”), asking her to direct the project. Allen and Culver later got “Top Boy” actor Michael Junior Onafowokan on board to produce.
The film was shot by a predominantly Black crew and headed by a female director. Several crew members had worked on “Top Boy” and Apple’s “Ted Lasso.”
“Like many of us, when lockdown hit last year most creatives’ workload was put on a standstill including myself. So I put my creativity into making a project around lockdown and people’s mental health during this time,” says Allen. “For me being able to make ‘These Four Walls’ was such an amazing experience. I wanted to work with people who looked like me, I’m very used to being on a predominantly white set. I wanted to make it a point to work with a predominantly Black crew and female director.”
“‘These Four Walls’ is special because not only did it manage to create something positive from the global pandemic, it also created a space for people too often overlooked in the industry,” Allen adds.
“I have had my own battles with mental health, so the subject matter of this film is very close to my heart,” says Culver. “The most pivotal moment in a journey with mental health is asking for help; during lockdown this became even more difficult. After the collective trauma of COVID and quarantine, directing ‘These Four Walls’ felt like a healing experience and I hope watching it will too.”
The film is produced by Verum Films and Camera Works Ltd.