About the film
Ben Ellis defines success. Young, slick, ambitious – a prize catch. More so, he's just landed a lucrative job as a lawyer with one of the city's richest firms. Not content on stopping there, his boss – the founder and owner of the firm – is about to become his father-in-law, having asked for the hand in marriage of his gorgeous daughter, Beth.
On the night of the engagement dinner things couldn't be going better. Apart from the fact somebody knows a lot more about Ben than his conscience would care to acknowledge.
Someone knows his Achilles Heel and uses it to lure Ben into a trap, locking him into a toilet cubicle. Over the course of the evening they plan to teach him a lesson he'll never forget and that will change him...forever.
From the director
Engaged demands to be a taut, twisting thriller, one that moves from horror to absurdity, from terror in the cubicle to fraught family drama, in a heartbeat. While it's incredibly confined in its use of space and time, it uses this microscopic approach to examine our characters and the details of their behaviour, to literally strip our protagonist bare and reveal the truth underneath.
My aim is to make a date movie that scars. While it needs to be a nail-biting and often anxiety provoking viewing experience, underneath lies an uncomfortable look at relationships, marriage and family. I want Engaged to be a wild ride; tense, terrifying and blackly comic. It will be as slick and stylish as the characters it focuses on, yet as Ben's journey becomes more intense and surreal, so we will follow it and the juxtaposition between his story and the freewheeling family conversations outside will become increasingly disparate.
Meet the team
Director Adam Randall
Adam's background is in directing short films, digital and online content. He is to direct iBoy, a feature based on the bestselling novel by Kevin Brooks, produced by Gail Mutrux (Donnie Brasco, Kinsey) and Wigwam Films, and starring Freddie Highmore and Miranda Richardson. Adam is also directing and co-writing London Underground,produced by Independent Film Company (We Need To Talk About Kevin).
He has co-created and is co-writing crime series Smuggler for SKY, produced by Cowboy Films. He also created and co-wrote police comedy The Beat for Corona Pictures.
Adam wrote and directed the award-winning short film Hooded, which was subsequently optioned as a television series and sold around the world. His follow up short Easier Ways also won various awards and was sold for television internationally. Most recently he directed Reflections as part of Bombay Sapphire's Imagination Series. Adam is represented by Casarotto Ramsey for Film & telelvision, Independent Films for digital and commercials and Management 360 in the US.
Screenwriter James Condon
James started to write short stories while studying Optics & Applied Sciences at University in Manchester. He went on to study Film Production at in York and New England – affording him six months immersion in all things American, plus the chance to shoot experimental shorts on film.
He worked for companies Big Talk, Working Title Films and Sony Music, scouring their back catalogues of artists and eras to create fresh angles for feature film narratives. During this time James completed Engaged, his first feature spec script, which made its way on to the 2010 Brit List and was subsequently optioned and developed at Pathe Pictures UK.
James is currently rewriting a road trip horror based on an unexploited European Myth for a feature film entitled The Krampus set to shoot in Austria in November this year, with Rutger Hauer starring. James is represented by Jess Rosenthal at Industry Entertainment, LA.
Producers Bennett McGhee and Matthew James Wilkinson
Bennett McGhee is a Senior Production and Development Executive for Wildgaze Films, also developing a slate of films with emerging talent to produce in-house. He has worked on a number of film and television projects including the multi-Oscar and BAFTA nominated An Education adapted by Nick Hornby and directed by Lone Sherfig (One Day, Posh); A Long Way Down, adapted by Jack Thorne from the best-selling novel by Nick Hornby, directed by Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker); Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut Quartet, from a script by Oscar-winner Ronald Harwood and most recently, as Associate Producer on the Nick Hornby adaptation of Colm Toibin's novel Brooklyn, directed by BAFTA winner John Crowley (Boy A).
Bennett produced the BIFA nominated short What Does Your Daddy Do? (Martin Stitt) which premiered in competition at the Venice Film Festival and was selected for, among others, Palm Springs, Dresden, Brief Encounters and LA Shorts. Bennett produced Adam Randall's Hooded.
Matthew James Wilkinson has worked for Avalon Television and Management Group, AP Watt Literary, Film & Television Agency, as a freelance screenwriter and film reviewer for Channel 4/film and Little White Lies magazine. He has also worked as a professional script editor.
Previously Script Development Executive at Working Title Films, he worked on a number of high-profile feature films, including Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang and Tinker, Sailor, Solider, Spy.
His production company Stigma Films Ltd signed a first look deal with Pathe UK in 2011 to develop a slate of high concept low budget genre features for an international audience. These included Brit List topping sci-fi, Gateway 6, for Oscar-winning director Tanel Toom.
Before this, Matthew worked on a number of high-end short film projects, most notably, Inseperable and Worm. His suburban thriller, SLR, premiered at this year's Galway Film Fleadh and was nominated for an IFTA (Irish BAFTA). It was recently long-listed for an Oscar.
He is currently filming action/sci-fi, The Call Up, which signed a multi-territory deal with EOne at last year's AFM.
Watch Hooded, directed and written by Adam Randall.