A film by
emotional Drama with surrealist elements
A struggling artist tries to reconnect with his elderly father suffering from dementia, who slips between his surreal imaginary world and reality.
Somewhere In-between is the emotional story of a son’s reconnection with his dying elderly father. The son, thirty-something Tim, is intersex. He was rejected by Gordon, his father, and older brother, when they couldn’t accept his need to change from being Donna to Tim, many years ago. Gordon suffers from dementia and lives in a care home. He cannot place Tim, who pretends to be his son-in-law when visiting him, but seems to recognise something about him.
Tim’s mother, Eleanor, recovers from a nervous breakdown after seeing her husband slip away from her takes its toll. His brother and sister-in-law, Anthony and Amy respectively, stubbornly refuse to acknowledge Tim’s existence, and are unaware of his visits to the home. The love story between Tim and Gordon’s carer, Isla, adds an alternative layer of sentimentality and hope for Tim.
As the inner lives of the supporting characters are exposed, focus very much remains on Tim’s further visits to the home. Seeing the care home both through Gordon and Tim’s eyes, as well as occasionally through those of the supporting characters, offers different perspectives into this hidden world. Focus is given to abstract, surreal scenes from Gordon’s confused, unstable reality and memory, including a moment when he sees himself as a priest and the care home as his church.
The story concludes with one final encounter between Gordon and Tim; the latter quite literally on his deathbed. Tim finally reveals that he is intersex, which intentionally acts as a means to open up a conversation about this misunderstood, hidden form of gender dysphoria. Gordon is still unable to fully comprehend Tim’s truth, but, deep down, recognises and accepts Tim as his child, and appears instinctively apologetic for his confused understanding of his past wrongs.
Keeping Gordon unaware of the true identity of Tim until the very end of the film, and even then only having him partially understand, adds mystery, intrigue and suspense. Their reconnection is genuine and real, which offers Tim some peace before Gordon passes away. Ultimately, Gordon finds the confused form of redemption he searches for, albeit only achieved through his disease. Tim finds the love and acceptance he craves, and their reconnection, in a way, sets them free.
The filmmakers’ share a strong desire to tell a powerful story about Alzheimer’s and gender dysphoria, partly inspired by loved ones suffering from both factors. Somewhere In-between aims to resonate with a mature, curious, empathetic audience, as well as inspire and empower all manner of individuals, including those affected by dementia and of the intersex community. The film can be a global critical and commercial success, satisfying both genre and art-house audiences.
This is a story of love, loss, acceptance, redemption and identity.
I’ve always been drawn to movies with emotional depth and thought-provoking stories that summer blockbusters so often lack. Films that hit viewers to the core, make them reconsider their outlook on life, and impact their lives like no other medium can. When I first read Somewhere In-between, I knew it was that type of movie and I had to make it.
All three of us have a mutual desire to tell a powerful story about Alzheimer’s and gender dysphoria, partly inspired by our loved ones suffering from both factors. Through a deeply emotional character-driven story with moments of blissful joy and utter sorrow, the film explores the impact long-kept family secrets and dementia can have on a family.
Evoking great British and European dramas of the past, the story will be filmed in a classic dramatic style while also spreading surrealistic moments throughout to alleviate the emotional tension and illustrate what goes on inside the mind of someone with Alzheimer’s. The script is ripe to attach well-known actors with its evocative language and strong characters, especially someone for the elderly lead role. For all these reasons and more, we believe Somewhere In-between will be a box office success and profoundly affect viewers for generations to come.
Matthew Tibbenham is a British-American writer and director residing in London, who writes and directs films, TV shows and commercials.
Matthew actively pursued a career in film directing in New York City, where he worked on the Blumhouse horror film, Sinister, directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Ethan Hawke, as the Director's Assistant and Second Unit Director.
After New York, he moved to Los Angeles and released the interactive comedy web series, The Wrong Guys for the Job.
Matthew’s first feature film, Surviving Confession, is being released this summer on major streaming platforms. He is excited to direct his next feature, Somewhere In-between, in addition to a comedy TV pilot this summer and another feature film, Nightfall, later next year.
Magdalena Herfurtner is a German producer, writer, and musician, resident in London.
She is currently in development and production of several feature and short films, amongst them the short drama Sacrifice (2019) and the features Somewhere In-between (2020) and Erica (2019).
Magdalena has been trained as actress and classical singer at Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. In 2015, she relocated to London where she took screenwriting classes at Central Film School.
That same year, she became Quarter-Finalist of the Shore Scripts Screenwriting Competition with her feature film script Walking on the Flatline.
She co-produced the multi-award-winning short film The Power of One Coin (2018), line-produced Sergei Alexander's feature debut Beneath Desire (2019) and recently has released several ambient EPs as Madil Hardis.
Haydn Worley is a London-based screenwriter. He has written several feature film screenplays in development, with budding directors and producers attached.
Ongoing collaboration with director Emma Frayne-Ford has resulted in the production of a short drama and a short documentary, with a two act play, a feature documentary, two feature films and several short films in development.
Haydn's original trans-biopic feature screenplay Samantha is in advanced stages of development, with Emma attached as director, and his original, emotional drama script Somewhere In-between is also in development.
Haydn co-wrote Wood (2019), a feature animation currently in production, and he is a freelance writer for SLNda, Ashley Walter's (Top Boy, Bulletproof) TV production company.
The film will have a modern-day setting and look while also invoking the feeling of an early 20th century period piece. It will have a realistic, natural lighting style, even in most of the surreal moments. The camera will have a more objective feel; like an omniscient, detached observer. While the camera movement will usually be smooth and precise, it will hopefully disappear to make way for the story and characters. The style will be reminiscent of the films of Bergman, Haneke and Kubrick. It will be filmed digitally in an anamorphic widescreen format to give it a film-like, cinematic feel.
As Call Me By Your Name captured the bright, blissful summers of the Italian countryside, Somewhere In-between will do the opposite and have a dark, overcast feel of the British landscape to reflect the turmoil inside each of the characters. While all locations, costumes, and set dressings will be modern, the film will have a slight period drama feel and the colour palette will reflect that – leaning towards a variety of blue, green, and brown tones.
The primary locations will include an elderly care home, a small British cottage, modern day student-like housing, and a local pub. The surreal locations will include a grand castle, strip club, parish church, 1950s style boxing ring, and a space station.
Tim is a complex thirty-something with a talent for animation, who is unfulfilled by his day job. He is lonely, anxious and repressed. He lives in a shared house and spends a great deal of time feeling alone and uncomfortable in his own skin. His primary worry is his gender identity, namely the impact of being intersex and choosing to identify as male. Having been considered female when he was younger, his perceived sex change continues to divide his family. Tim is kind and caring, reflected by his deep reconnection with Gordon, whom he has much cause to hate, and his budding romance with Isla.
A charming man in his 70s. Gordon suffers with dementia and permanently lives in a care home. He often exists in a parallel reality, created by his illness. He is witty and warm, but easily annoyed, particularly by the unstable residents. As well as his present state often being warped, his memory is poor, meaning he is mostly blissfully unaware of the hurt caused by disowning Tim, formerly known as Donna. However, Gordon experiences profound moments of lucidity, while he feels a general sense of guilt for his past wrongs.
Isla, late-twenties, is an extremely dedicated, respected, quick-witted carer at the home. She has a close bond with Gordon, for whom she holds deep affection. Isla works long hours to support her young son Dylan, who is often let down by his drug-addled weekend dad. Her sense of duty, pride and care at the home stops her from cracking under the pressure of facing the unpredictable residents day after day. Although scarred by her past relationship, she slowly embraces her feelings for Tim.
Witnessing her husband Gordon fade away really takes its toll on Eleanor, mid-sixties, retired. She struggles to cope with the responsibility she feels for her fragmented family. The pressure of being a loving, present wife boils over as she experiences a nervous breakdown. On the inside, Eleanor is strong, and she eventually recovers after taking some much-needed time out.
Anthony, a hardened lawyer, is in his mid-to-late-thirties. He is bitter about the past, but the emotional pain he feels is buried deep within. Firmly placing the blame for the family’s break-up on Tim, Anthony is transphobic, volatile and extremely damaged. His vulnerability and ability to step up
and be there for Eleanor redeems Anthony, to a point.
Mid-thirties, Amy is Anthony’s sharp-tongued career-driven wife. Despite feeling real reluctance to help out her mother-in-law, she does fulfill her duty, but this doesn’t stop her from being a frosty character. Amy’s prickly nature is partly down to the pain she feels for Anthony, but her vulgar rejection of Tim is somewhat unforgivable.
Somewhere In-between combines the dreamy introspection of Bergman’s Wild Strawberries with the surrealism of Fellini’s 8 ½ and the emotional pull of Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name.
Want to get involved?
Drop us a line below to arrange a meeting with our producer Magdalena in Cannes (13th - 20th May) or to start a conversation.