My London Lullaby

Helena is a struggling German actress, when she is shortlisted for a major film role, the brutal realities of a hostile Brexit Britain take over her life.

  • Hugo Santa Cruz
  • Hugo Santa Cruz
  • Cecilia Limonta
  • Asdrubal Marichal
  • Hugo Santa Cruz
  • Shirley Both
    Key Cast
    "Helena Kutsche"
  • Katharina Naumow
    Key Cast
  • Liza Callinicos
    Key Cast
  • Hersha Patel
    Key Cast
    "Debbie Gupta"
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital - 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Jury Prize - Efebo D'Oro International Film Festival (43rd Edition)
    November 30, 2021
    Italian premiere
    Special Jury Prize
  • Romford Film Festival (6th Edition)
    United Kingdom
    May 23, 2022
    UK Premiere
    Special Commendation
  • HoF International Film Festival (55th edition)
    October 28, 2021
    German premiere
    Official Selection
  • Islantilla Cineforum Film Festival (14th Edition)
    August 9, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Audience Award - Linares International Film festival (6th Edition)
    September 20, 2021
    Audience Award & Best Cinematography
  • Bogocine (38th Edition)
    October 28, 2021
    Latin America premiere
    Official Selection
  • Arizona Film Festival (30th Edition)
    United States
    April 21, 2022
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Soul Pictures
    Sales Agent
    Country: Spain
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Hugo Santa Cruz

Hugo Santa Cruz is a writer/director/producer from London.

He is part of a brand new social stratum in the UK, that of the Europeans who got British passports after the Brexit vote.

A former touring musician with Mute & Universal Records, some of the bands he played in had songs featured in "Breaking Bad", "The L word" and "The Sopranos"; when the music dried up he swerved into screenwriting.

In 2021 he launched his filmmaking career with his debut feature MY LONDON LULLABY, which went on to win the Special Jury Prize at the prestigious Efebo D'Oro Film Festival in Italy. Other official selections in well established film festivals worldwide included the Hofer Filmtage (Germany) and Bogocine (Colombia).

I July 2022, Hugo declined an invitation to screen MY LONDON LULLABY at the 44th Moscow International Film Festival (Russia).

Not one to rest on his laurels, 2023 sees the launch of his second feature THE FiFTH GENERATiON, a semi-experimental surrealist dark comedy about radicalised environmental activists. Shot partly on super 8 format, and adding Leigh Gill (Joker, Game of Thrones) to his cast of misfit thespians.

Also in 2023 Hugo is hitting the festival circuit as an Associate Producer for A CLOSET-FREE HOME; a documentary about the first public funded care home for elderly LGBTQ+ folks in Madrid (Spain).

Hugo's brand of punk rock filmmaking ANTi KiNO is home to a production co-op that develops unapologetic feature films and documentaries.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My London Lullaby tells the story of Helena, an artist seeking greatness against the backdrop of a neo-totalitarian Brexit Britain.

Helena's story is also that of a migrant; the kind of narrative that needs to be continuously re-told in order to accommodate for ever evolving social contexts.

Interestingly the migrant protagonist in this story is a white woman from Germany.

My love for RW Fassbinder's “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul - Angst essen Seele Auf” (1974) set out the intention/execution template for My London Lullaby; nevertheless the event that really got my butt on the writer’s chair was the result of the UK’s general election in late 2019, which certified the reality of a “Hard Brexit”.

My London Lullaby asks the audience: are Europeans no longer welcome in the UK?

Whatever the answer the viewer may choose, the team involved in its making is a victory of European entente in the face of the Brexit shitstorm we now find ourselves in.

The cast and crew is as effortlessly diverse and LGBTQ+ friendly as London itself including: British (Caribbean, Nigerian, Indian, White), German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish, French, Luxembourgish, South African, and Australian nationalities, a transgender thespian, a child actor, and a gorgeous ginger cat.

As for the production: we commenced prep at the very beginning of 2020. Through face-to-face and online castings and rehearsals, the script kept evolving to the point where the shooting draft was the 12th re-write.

We shot the film on digital, in 15 days between August and November 2020 (when C-19 restrictions were lifted in the UK) following a strict diet of DIY Guerrilla Filmmaking: no budget, no permits, and no crew; I think we did a good job! I am particularly proud of the moment when we got kicked out of Heathrow airport just after getting the last shot we needed (invite me to your festival and I’ll tell you all about it!)

The final edit is a succinct 67 minutes because tackling a 90 page script with the minimum available resources amidst a global pandemic would have been an impossibility. We originally aimed for 80 minutes but in the 4 months of post we took to get it right we found it was best to have a good 67 minute film than a bad 80 minute one. The film is dynamic and nifty within the boundaries of what a social drama should be and we hope you feel the same way.

Thank you for your time if you're still reading and I hope you enjoy watching the film as much as we enjoyed making it.