Created by Ryan Williams, The Pitch 2016

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My pitch is for Acolyte, a Sci-Fi Drama centred around two best friends (Mitch and Ramsay) who after pulling over on to the side of a rural road so one of them can urinate, discover an abandoned vehicle. Within the vehicle is a mysterious 8-year-old boy with glistening orange eyes, part of an alien race living on Earth, which has been segregated into specific sections of the country. The race are known as Acolytes. How the pair deal with this boy will change their relationship forever. The film is ultimately about Ramsay and Mitch’s relationship, and Mitch’s decision to end that friendship to save the boy is the arc of his character. The inspiration behind this was of course the Book of Exodus but I wanted to deal with themes of belonging, friendship and xenophobia. I liked the idea of exploring two people realising things about each other’s thought processes that they don’t like. To explore someone who is already questioning their place in life (Mitch), making a strong decision about what they feel is right was extremely appealing. I feel the grounded nature of the story and character relationships allow the story to progress in a very natural way.

Biblical Connection

My idea is based upon the Book of Exodus and the beginning of Rameses and Moses' relationship downfall, which in it's essence centred around their differing views on how to treat the Israelites. My film would deal with the same themes of xenophobia and belonging that this book does. I like the idea that you don't know you're best friends sometimes and often the clarity of understanding the environment you're in, can you make you realise you shouldn't be there. Moses (whom the character Mitch is based upon) has this same revelation. It was important to me to centre the conflict around a group of people, in my film Acolytes and in the Book of Exodus, Israelites as I wanted their conflict to be very grounded and about human nature. Equally this is why it was important to make the group fictional, so no viewer has any prejudice about the boy or the race of Acolytes. This allows an objective view of Mitch and Ramsay's relationship and also reflects on issues that are in society today in the UK and also abroad with the treatment of the Syrian refugee crisis. Showing how relevant this book is still, to this day.