Based on The Book of Esther, our story follows a girl chosen to act as personal assistant to Alexander Xerxes, the wealthiest man in Britain. Xerxes is planning to throw Esther and thousands of others out of their homes and into detention centres. Despite Esther’s uncle Mordie saving Xerxes’ life, the billionaire seems intent on making Esther and her people suffer. Mordie reveals that Xerxes’ actions are because of a feud between the two men, which Esther is now caught up in. Set in a dark world where heroes are few and far between, Esther must balance the need to serve Xerxes with helping those she loves. As she begins to change her estate and the lives of those around her, it becomes apparent that there is only one way to save her people. Xerxes has killed others who stood up to him. Will Esther have the courage to confront him before it’s too late? Writer and director Ollie Wiggins currently works as a freelance filmmaker and Director of Channel 4’s 4Crew. He’s made films for companies including Film 4, Youth Music Theatre UK and Aviva Insurance and worked on Hollyoaks, Chatty Man and Harry Potter amongst other projects. www.OllieWiggins.com
The pitch is based closely on the ‘Book of Esther’ in which a Jewish girl is selected to marry King Xerxes. She discovers that, due to a dispute between her uncle Mordechai and the prime-minister Haman, the Jewish people are to be killed. Esther must risk her life for her people by going to the king and begging for his mercy. In our story, the characters of Haman and Xerxes are combined; Xerxes himself had a dispute with Mordechai and subsequently orders the exile of Esther’s people. Because of this dispute he selects Esther to be his assistant; torturing Mordechai by demonstrating his power over Esther. ‘Esther’ is the only Biblical book that does not explicitly mention God. However, His presence is felt throughout the story. Mordechai suggests that Esther was “made Queen for just such a time as this” (4:14) indicating God put her in this position for a reason. Drawing on ‘District 9’ and ‘Children of Men,’ the film creates a gritty world that the student protests and riots of last year show us is all too close to reality. ‘Esther’ is a coming of age story and a classic tale of someone standing up for what’s right.