Last week, my first outing to the cinema since lockdown, I managed to see Nowhere Special and was overwhelmed by this very ‘special’ film, leaving the cinema in tears of joy and hope! It is a beautiful, breath-taking film and I urge you to see it on the big screen and remember the unique experience which is cinema.
Nowhere Special is a drama film, written, directed and produced by Uberto Pasolini, about John, a 35-year old window cleaner, who must find a new, perfect family for his four-year-old son when he receives a terminal diagnosis. The film was inspired by true events – a newspaper article that Pasolini came across in 2017 about a single father who attempted to find a new family for his young son before he passed away from cancer.
James Norton stars as devoted father John, alongside six-year-old newcomer Daniel Lamont as his young son Michael. The two are each other’s only family, as Michael’s mother left shortly after he was born. When John learns that he only has months to live from an unnamed disease, he is determined to protect Michael from the situation and preserve his happiness, spending the time he has left to find a new home for his child.
At its core, Nowhere Special is a heart-warming story of a father-son relationship, with the film portraying their loving relationship and easy rapport through understated drama.
To prepare for the film, Uberto Pasolini read extensively about adoption and worked with adoption organisations and child bereavement charities to understand how the adoption and foster system works.
Set in Northern Ireland, the film was internationally co-produced and premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2020, and was released in UK cinemas on 16th July. If you are in the UK, you can find a cinema near you here. It will be available on-demand via Curzon from 16th August. Watch the film trailer here.
“It’s stunning … Nowhere Special, something very, very special” – Chris Evans
“The most tender piece I’ve seen in a cinema, it was a joy to watch … such a beautiful film, I urge you to go and see it” – Zoe Ball
“I would highly recommend you take a trip to the cinema to watch this beautiful, beautiful film … absolutely breathtaking” – Edith Bowman
When I spoke with Uberto last week, he was on his way to Italy and France for the release of Nowhere Special and I asked him, “why tell this story?”. Reading the article in January 2017, he was drawn to the story and wondered how he would handle the situation as a father of three daughters. He became interested in adoption, but ultimately it was the relationship between the father and son which emerged as the best way to understand the emotional, psychological journey about adoption. He wrote the script, raised the financing and shot the film just before lockdown, all in two years. The post-production was then done remotely in Romania in 2020.
Best known for producing The Full Monty in 1997, the highest-grossing film in the UK, it was in 2006 when Uberto was embarking on his first directorial debut with Machan that we met. I was working with Ingenious Media and fell in love with the story of a Sri Lankan National Handball Team that vanished in 2004. The film was released in 2008 to critical acclaim. It’s such a fun film. We have remained friends.
I encourage everyone to watch this his latest film once they can.
About Parminder Vir OBE
Parminder Vir OBE has dedicated herself to positively impacting and transforming lives through a professional career spanning 40 years in philanthropy, entrepreneurship, film and television production, arts and culture, and investment funding. She is the co-founder of the Support4AfricaSMEs campaign and The African Farmers Stories, launched in 2020. She served as the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, based in Lagos, Nigeria from April 2014 to April 2019. Prior to joining the Foundation, Parminder has enjoyed a distinguished career as an awarding winning film and television producer and private equity investor in film and media.