All My Friends Hate Me

UK 2021, 94 mins
Director: Andrew Gaynord

+ intro and Q&A with Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton

Just because you’re paranoid, Joseph Heller noted, doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. This is birthday boy Pete’s own Catch-22: invited by his old university crew to a country mansion celebration, from the outset something feels off. He’s constantly the butt of strangely pointed jokes. And what about the local chancer who has latched onto the group and seems to be studying him rather too closely?

Andrew Gaynord’s feature debut, scripted by lead actor Tom Stourton and Tom Palmer, is a stiletto-sharp comedy nightmare. There’s misunderstandings, micro-aggressions and the fear that our youthful friendships aren’t – or maybe never were – what we thought. Imagine The Big Chill as a psychological horror, with an expert ensemble of rising British talent making us squirm with dread and laughter.
Leigh Singer, BFI London Film Festival

Director’s statement
Have you ever read a script that has as much tension and hard laughs as this does? If so, can you send it to me?

I’ve been on the prowl reading feature scripts sent to me by my reps at CAA for a few years now, and I haven’t come across a script that is as funny, alluring, and unsettling as this one. I’ve been an admirer of both Toms for over a decade, and I’m chuffed that this has come my way.

My ambition is for this film to be gut punch funny but with a palpable dramatic tension that pulls you deeper throughout – I want the audience to be constantly guessing, as I was when I read it, is Pete paranoid? Or is he truly unravelling something more nefarious? I want all the performances to be next level REAL… I don’t want to see people ‘movie acting’ or scripted lines to sound like lines – I want to see how this would genuinely play out in real life. And in fact, we will be genuinely shooting in sequence. It won’t add any real amount of time, but will add to the close tracking of Pete’s psychological breakdown throughout the course of the film.

We’ll also be occasionally harnessing film’s powers to slowly induce paranoia, claustrophobia, disorientation… we’ll also use film’s strength to seep an unsettling atmosphere, and crank the laughter to 11. Through Pete’s POV we’ll feel his psychological state deteriorate to breaking point.

Our audience will be completely in sync with Pete’s desperation to be liked. Pete feels alone, lost, and wanting to connect. He just wants to have a good birthday party, guys! To me, this is funny.
Production notes

Directed by: Andrew Gaynord
Presented by: Ravanburn, Totally Tom Films
Executive Producers: Jon Plowman, George Cave, P.K. Fellowes
Produced by: Tom Palmer
Co-producer: Esme Hicks
Casting: Lucy Rands
Location Manager: George Cave
Script Supervisor: Linda Gibson
Written by: Tom Palmer, Tom Stourton
Director of Photography: Ben Moulden
Edited by: Saam Hodivala
Production Designer: Frederick Allsop
Costume Designer: Helen Bolter
Make-up Designer: Sarah Jane Marks
Composer: Will Lowes, Joe Robbins
Sound Recordist: Blai Escayola Bosch
Re-recording Mixer: Christopher Swaine
Dialogue Editor, ADR Supervisor, Sound Effects Editor: Tim Bamber
Stunt Co-ordinator: Dan ‘DJ’ Johnson

Tom Stourton (Pete)
Charly Clive (Sonia)
Georgina Campbell (Fig)
Antonia Clarke (Claire)
Joshua McGuire (George)
Graham Dickson (Archie)
Christopher Fairbank (Norman)
Dustin Demri-Burns (Harry)
Kieran Hodgson (Graham)

UK 2021
94 mins

Courtesy of BFI Distribution

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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