One of Britain’s hottest young directors has showcased his latest film to students after being snapped up to work as a visiting professor at Kingston University. Paul Andrew Williams held an exclusive screening of his new work, The Cottage, at Kingston’s Odeon cinema ahead of its general release later this month.
Set in a remote part of the countryside, the Cottage is a dark comedic tale with the action revolving around the fates of clueless kidnappers, mob assassins and a psychopathic farmer. Feuding brothers David (Andy Serkis – King Kong, Lord of the Rings) and Peter (Reece Shearsmith – The League of Gentlemen), set aside their differences to make some fast money by kidnapping Tracey, played by former Chicago star and Brookside actress Jennifer Ellison, the daughter of a feared mob boss. Matters take an unexpected turn for the worse when they discover something terrifying lurking in the darkness and embark on a comic battle for survival.
Mr Williams, whose first film London to Brighton won critical acclaim around the globe, said The Cottage was a total departure from his earlier work. “Audiences can expect the experience to be like being on a ghost train – we want people to feel prickles of fear while also laughing at the humour in the film,” he said. “I was particularly interested in capturing the relationship between brothers because siblings communicate with each other in a very specific way. There is always a certain bond that, no matter how stretched, will always be there.”
The Kingston premier of The Cottage marked the launch of Mr Williams’ collaboration with the University which will see him passing on tips to young people hoping to one day follow in his footsteps. “I’m looking forward to working with the students,” Mr Williams said. “As a filmmaker I’m always learning and observing, so I’m hoping to gain as much from my association with the students as they will from learning how I launched my career.”
Kingston University’s director of film and television studies, Dr Will Brooker, said it was an enormous privilege for the students to be working with such a rising star in the industry. “As one of the country’s brightest new writing and directing talents, Paul has a great deal to offer our students. There is no better way to learn the trade than by hearing from a true master of the big screen and observing his work first hand,” Dr Brooker said.