In UK cinemas 23rd September 2016, and on VOD 3rd October
How do you find someone who doesn't exist?
A tense and timely urban thriller, set against the ruthless backdrop of London’s exploitation of migrant labour, and featuring a star-making turn from rising international talent David Gyasi (Interstellar, Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises), Panic, aTaxi Driverfor the 21st century, reveals a side of the city usually kept hidden deep in the shadows.
David Gyasi (Interstellar, Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, Doctor Who)
Pippa Nixon (Cuffs, Containment, John Carter)
Yennis Cheung (Chinese Girls In London, Skyfall)
Jason Wong (Asylum, Hummingbird)
Sean Spencer (Writer/Director)
Music journalist Andrew Deeley (David Gyasi, Interstellar) lives in a high-rise tower block, cut off from the world, psychologically scarred after a vicious street attack. He spends his evenings watching his neighbours and becomes infatuated with Kem, a beautiful young Chinese woman.
When Amy, a married woman he meets online, witnesses Kem’s kidnapping, Deeley tries and fails to get the police involved. He is left with no choice but to try and find Kem himself, fighting his own anxieties as he strives to find someone whom the world is happy to forget.
Armed with only an Oyster card and a hammer, Deeley spirals into the heart of the Chinese Triad underworld. Hoping for a fresh start with the elusive Amy, Deely puts his life on the line as he fights to save Kem.
Taxi Driver for the 21st Century, PANIC is a striking, breakout debut thriller from young British director Sean Spencer, with compelling performances from Gyasi and renowned stage actress Pippa Nixon.
We like it because:
An enthralling London-based thriller, the directorial debut of Sean Spencer, who also wrote the script, Panic delves into the city’s dark criminal underworld, exploring, as Spencer explains “London’s intricate and often brutal ghost economy, and the ever-growing feeling of social alienation in our urban environments.”
Shot on location in East London over three weeks, the film captures the raw, gritty energy of the city, and features a brooding, charismatic performance by the brilliant up-and-coming British actor David Gyasi. After securing key roles in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and the blockbusters Cloud Atlas and Red Tails, Gyasi is soon to be seen in Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller Annihilation, and has been described by Liz Hoggard in the Evening Standard as “an actor we are about to see a lot more of”.
Superbly scored by electronic music producer, composer Christopher Nicholas Bangs, Panic also features original tunes, including a track recorded specifically for the film by Ninja Tune's Fink; as well as a selection of unique acid jazz tracks that give the film a unique analogue warmth.
Stylishly filmed by DOP, Carl Burke, intimate close-ups draw the viewer in to experience first-hand the drama of both the story and Gyasi’s increasing anxiety. Panic portrays a rarely seen side of London, brimming with tension, and recalling Stephen Frears trafficking classic Dirty Pretty Things.
Opening with a nod towards Hitchock’s classic Rear Window, and building to a pulse-quickening finale that reaches Taxi Driver levels of intensity, this is a taut, powerful film from writer/director Spencer and lead actor Gysai, two talents at the very forefront of UK’s black cinema vanguard.
Panic has already played at the East End Film Festival, Dinard, and was nominated for Best Feature at Raindance in London; and will be playing in competition at the British urban film festival in London in September, as well as at the International Black Film Festival in Nashville in October.