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New film written and co-produced by York lecturer hits our screens

Posted on 26 July 2021

A new feature film based on the high school days of a York lecturer and her love of The Smiths has received great reviews following its exclusive release on Sky Cinema.

‘Shoplifters of the world’ is a heartfelt coming-of-age drama that follows the life of four friends as they deal with the breakup of their musical idols, The Smiths. When the local Denver radio station is hijacked by a die-hard Smiths fan, the friends embark on one last all-nighter which tests their friendship, dreams and sexuality. 

The film is based on the semi-autobiographical story of Lorianne Hall, Senior Lecturer in Film and TV Production in our Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media (TFTI). 

Lorianne, who grew up in Denver, Colorado, said: “As teenagers we often idolise bands and their break-ups can be hard. For me, The Smiths were the soundtrack to this part of my life and their breakup was huge.”

Throughout the film, the British band’s song lyrics are incorporated into the script, along with 20 of their greatest hits.

Lorianne, who is also the programme leader for the MA Producing Programme at TFTI, said: “I often felt The Smith’s lyrics reflected how I was feeling at the time so it was important the film captured the angst and romantic longing of teenagers expressed in their music.”

Following its exclusive release on Sky Cinema, the film has received positive reviews with Katie Walsh from the Los Angeles Times saying: “If you love The Smiths, and that magical teenage time when music, and your connection to it, is the most important thing in the world, you’re likely to swoon for ‘Shoplifters of the World’.”

The film, directed by Stephen Kijak, includes screen stars such as Ellar Coltrane who’s worked alongside the likes of Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, and Helen Howard best known for starring in 'Madeline’s Madeline.'

The film is now available on Sky Cinema.