The Pacifist is a new short film which tells the dramatic true story of John Fulljames, a conscientious objector and undergraduate at Oxford during the Second World War.
It was filmed on location in Univ, where this story unfolded 80 years ago, with the narrative researched and constructed with the invaluable help of College Archivist, Robin Darwall-Smith. The screenplay was written by Matthew Hardy (2018, English), and the film directed by Matthew Hardy and Jack Rennie (2017, PPL) . The Director of Photography was James Huthwaite and the soundtrack composed and performed by Jack Rennie.
Matthew and Jack comment, “This film is a passion project that has spanned almost three years. As well as writing, directing, and producing, we have been costume designers, sound engineers, prop makers, make-up artists, and everything in-between. It is quite something to at last see in physical form what we have seen in our heads for so long.”
The Pacifist will premiere on 29 April, invite only, in 10 Merton Street. The first public screenings will be 30 April, again in 10 Merton Street, and 13 May at the Castle Cinema in London. Tickets and further details at thepacifistshortfilm.com
Follow on Instagram @thepacifistfilm or find out more and watch the trailer below.
Oxford, 1940: John Fulljames, a student at University College, prepares for his trial: the trial that will ascertain the legitimacy of his claim to pacifism.
Rumours and cruelty, patriotic fervour, the coming sickness of war.
When news breaks that John stands little chance against a ruthless jury, the nineteen-year-old’s mercurial mind scrambles desperately for a saving grace.
What will that grace cost?
“The first cause of The Pacifist was Oxford’s architecture. While still a student, I knew that I needed a story through which to record these beautiful oak-panelled rooms, these seventeenth century stairways, the ones I walked through every day. And then a fellow student slurred to me one night: ‘Do you know the story of John Fulljames?’. I do now.” – Matthew Hardy, writer and co-director
Levi Mattey as John Fulljames
Levi Mattey is an actor from South West London. He is a member of The National Youth Theatre, Great Britain. Levi’s recent theatre credits include As You Like It, The Taming of The Shrew, and Ezra by Stella Green.
He recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh, with a degree in English Literature and Philosophy.
Jerry Mutulu Woolley as Leslie Herniman
Jerry Mutulu Woolley is a creative from Islington, London. He has trained in the performing arts with IDENTITY, the Almeida Theatre, Maktub Theatre and Actors In Session. Jerry has featured in short films, television commercials and theatre productions.
He is currently performing as a supernumerary in Small Island at the National Theatre. Beyond acting, Jerry spends his time as a spoken word and recording artist.
Chester Caine as John Yallop
Chester Caine is an actor who grew up in North West London. He trained at The Oxford School of Drama and graduated in 2019.
Chester’s most recent performance was as Charlie in SMALL at Soho Theatre. He is also a songwriter and musician.
Martha West as Morgan LeFey
Martha West is a London-raised actor whose TV and film credits include the BBC and Amazon’s The Pursuit of Love and Hanway Films’ Creation.
Martha trained with the National Youth Theatre and Young Royal Court. She is graduating this year with honours in English Literature from Balliol College, Oxford. This is her first short film.
“I first heard about the story of John Fulljames very early on in my time at Univ, when it was mentioned in passing during a tour of the college. It wasn’t until my third year that, with Matthew, I started to dig deeper into these events. I remember the excitement as the story unravelled. After many hours spent meticulously reading through letters and old newspaper clippings in the University College Archive, we were left with a remarkable story that is in many ways very different from the story we first thought we were making a film about.” – Jack Rennie, co-director
About Matthew and Jack
Matthew Hardy is a filmmaker from West London. He recently graduated from University College, Oxford, with a degree in English Language and Literature. His first film, a short documentary called Under the Shadow of Rhodes, featured David Olusoga OBE and won praise from the writer and activist Owen Jones. This is his first short film.
Jack Rennie is a filmmaker and musician originally from Kent. He graduated from University College, Oxford, with a degree in Psychology and Linguistics. Jack currently works at a creative agency alongside his ongoing projects in film and music.