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Side by Side

Lauren and Harvey set off on a road trip and discover that side by side they can deal with anything.

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  • Director Arthur Landon
  • Producer Sara Giles
  • Screenwriters Arthur Landon, Matthew Wilkinson
  • With Bel Powley, Alfie Field, Diana Quick, Mark Powley, Sara Stewart, Alice Felgate
  • UK 2012
  • 103 mins
  • Production company NEWTIDE Films

Lauren and her younger brother Harvey risk being taken into care when their grandmother, who is their legal guardian, becomes ill. Lauren accepts the offer of a scholarship to a prestigious sports academy on the understanding that she and Harvey stay together while living with Janice, her duplicitous and ambitious agent. It soon becomes clear that there are plans to split the pair up; when Harvey runs away to find their long-lost grandfather, who hasn’t been heard from for years, Lauren follows. En route the pair discover that, despite all their differences, when they are side by side they are strong enough to deal with anything. This beautifully shot British debut is part family drama, part coming of age story and a road trip that nods towards some of the greats of children’s literature. The young leads give compelling and moving performances that make for an emphatically British family film that’s refreshingly free of even the hint of a franchise.

Justin Johnson

Recommended for ages 8+

Director biography

Arthur Landon developed a passion for film and theatre when he was 10 years old, writing plays and acting in amateur theatre productions. After a brief stint at the Central School of Speech and Drama, Arthur secured an internship at Merchant Ivory to focus on writing and production and managed to get tutelage in scriptwriting from the late Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. After completing a degree in media production, Arthur gained experience by working as a runner, production assistant and Third AD. In 2005, he joined Between the Eyes and produced and directed a number of music promos and commercials. Unexpectedly Arthur lost his father and had to turn to his family business for three years. On his return he wrote, produced and directed the short films Heroes and Villains, The Crossing and Idle-Hands. In 2012 Arthur partnered with Sara Giles to set up NewTide. Side by Side is their first film. Since then, Arthur has been commissioned to write a script for Vertigo and a second script, Shamwari, has been completed. Four other projects are in development.

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