Arts, Entertainment & Media

London director, Ben Charles Edwards, makes new film shot entirely in Hackney

The cast of Set The Thames On Fire, directed by Ben Charles Edwards. Image: Theo PR

The cast of Set The Thames On Fire, directed by Ben Charles Edwards. Image: Theo PR

Set the Thames on Fire tells the story of Art and Sal, two friends navigating their way through a parallel, dream-like East London.

It is London, then, but not as we know it. Edwards explains:

With a star-studded cast including Noel Fielding and Sally Phillips, the film also stars Max Bennett and Michael Winder as the film’s protagonists, Sal and Art.

Noel Fielding in Set The Thames On Fire. Image: Theo PR

Based on the director’s own experiences living in Shoreditch with his best friend Al Joshua (who co-wrote the script), the film is a dark comedy that sees Sal and Art descend into the bowels of London, exploring the city, its people and their friendship.

Edwards took inspiration from his time living in Shoreditch, from the buildings to its people, heightening them in nightmarish ways.

East London is a great source of inspiration for the film, not just for its aesthetic qualities, but the fact that it is always changing.

It is, at its heart, a city that is destroying itself and in a state of constant renewal. Edwards says:

I get such a thrill from thinking about devastation and I sometimes like to think, one day this will all be gone. For some reason its always on my mind. I think its because I find some comfort in that, that nothing means that much. Because the only thing that does is people, the people you like, and good people… That, I think, is very comforting, that everything we genuinely need in our lives is already there. Everything else can be destroyed.

The film is also about displacement in a big city such as London, but Edwards explains there can be hope in this.

Set The Thames On Fire is being produced by Sadie Frost’s production Company, Blonde To Black Pictures, and is currently in post-production.

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