Leave To Remain

Join our mailing list





  • "We’ve all witnessed UKIP’s rise during the recent elections in Britain, and Goodison’s powerful movie appropriately looks at the hardship endured by young adult asylum seekers. The film intimately portrays the difficulties suffered by the thousands of asylum seekers throughout the country, giving a voice to those who are purely searching for a better life in Britain.

    Leave to Remain is a stylish and modern take on a serious issue currently at the forefront of British politics and culture."

    by Ross Weber

    , The Ransom Note

  • A Bafta-winning filmmaker is to tackle the little-known issue of teenage asylum seekers who arrive in Britain alone in a new film with real refugees playing leading roles and working on the crew.

    Leave to Remain stars Toby Jones, who was recently named best actor at the Evening Standard Film Awards, alongside first timers including Massieh Zarrien who came to the UK from Afghanistan when he was eight-years-old. It emerged today that the film, which is in post production, will be scored by last year’s Mercury Award winning band Alt-J.

    Bruce Goodison, who won a TV Bafta this year for Our War, has just finished filming Leave to Remain which is based on the real experiences of young asylum seekers he met after becoming involved with a community centre.


    , The Independent

  • "Bruce Goodison's feature debut, the good-natured Leave to Remain (2013), imbues the meticulous rigour of a documentary with the conventional methodology of a narrative drama to create an unusual deviation on the coming-of-age tale. A film about children thrust into adulthood thanks to their status as asylum seekers, Goodison looks to give a voice to the thousands of young refugees currently fighting their case in the courtrooms of the United Kingdom."

    by Patrick Gamble

    , Cine Vue (LFF 2013 review)

  • "this is a very watchable, frequently powerful film shot through with a pervasive, troubling sense of lives caught in the balance – between the horrors of home and the relative calm of London, between the joy of escape and the threat of repatriation, between ‘foreign-ness’ and ‘Englishness’."

    by Tom Huddleston

    , TIME OUT

  • "[Toby Jones is] back in cinemas this week with Leave To Remain, a touching drama about an Afghan boy's struggle to fit in when he arrives in the UK, with Jones playing the kind-hearted teacher who runs the local refuge centre"

    , Total Film

  • "It is clearly well researched, covering the minute details of the asylum process"

    , Socialist Worker

  • Bruce Goodison’s provocative, important and touching Leave To Remain is a film that was crying out to be made but it would take a very sensitive team to put this tale together.

    Leave To Remain is the imperative sort of film causing discussion right now, which causes the audience to look internally and at the society they live in.

    By Ollie Charles

    , Front Row Reviews

  • "It was a story just waiting to be told. In truth it's staggering it's taken so long. But it is the tenacity of one man, and the courage, trust and faith of a small band of displaced young people that has seen the epic story realised on screen."

    , The Wharf

  • "Social discrimination and adjusting to life in the UK are given powerful, emotive force in Leave to Remain, the debut feature from award-winning TV director Bruce Goodison."

    by Lucia Blash & Giles Broadbent

    , The Wharf - EEFF Top 5 Recommendations

  • "Bruce Goodison’s film boasts an interesting milieu, strong performances and good moments."

    , Empire

  • "Goodison is  well served by his cast of non-professional actors"

    "the spectres of the actors' own stories haunt the narrative with a particular poignancy"

    by Catherine Wheatley

    , Sight & Sound

  • "People who've lived this for real clearly have a parallel emotional experience. They believe what they're doing. You can't buy that."

    , Televisual - Interview with Bruce Goodison

  • "Goodison displays a sure, Shane Meadows-like touch with his lively unknown leads, and finds eloquent, cinematic ways of describing their hopes, dreams and fears."

    by Mike McCahill

    , The Guardian

  • "Leave to Remain...prove[s] a compelling watch and gives [a] voice to a group who rarely have one."

    by Ben Nicholson

    , Cine Vue (2014 Release Review)

  • "Goodison, helped by a likeable young cast, brings moments of humour and lyricism to the storytelling."

    by Geoffrey MacNab

    , The Independent

  • "The film takes a fearless look at the ‘controversial’ issue of immigration, focusing on the characters and what they’ve been subjected to, and then contrasting those disturbing scenes with the delight of life in London. Some of the best moments are when Goodison simply captures the characters sitting down, deep in thought, making for some incredibly powerful visuals.

    Goodison delivers a meaningful and poignant story. That makes Leave to Remain well worth checking out. Soundtrack buffs will also find additional enjoyment in the score, from Mercury Music Prize-winners Alt-J."

    by Jazz Tangcay

    , So So Gay

  • Alt J: "Leave to Remain [is] a film that deserve[s] as wide an audience as possible... The finished film is beautifully made, and balances its important message with a great cast of characters and an engrossing story. We are proud to have been a part of it."

    , Clash Music Magazine

  • Toby Jones discusses what it was like working with young refugees whose life stories form the plot of Leave To Remain.

    , BBC Radio 4 Film Programme

  • "Toby Jones: 'The rise of UKIP [has] made the story more relevant' "

    , The Evening Standard

  • "this ambitious low-budget feature lends an authentic voice to often marginalised figures."

    "convincing and engaging"

    by Mark Kermode

    , Mark Kermode, The Observer

  • 100% (including 4 Top Critics!)

    , Rotton Tomatoes

  • "This intense, no-fi asylum seeker drama manages to make a big noise with a very small drum."

    by Sophie Monks Kaufman

    , Little White Lies

  • "Bruce Goodison’s film is an awareness-raising journalistic work, drawing attention to the kind of ordeals that cause people to flee to Britain and encouraging us to put ourselves in these new arrivals’ shoes."

    by Edward Porter

    , The Sunday Times

  • "There is a constant of care that runs through this film that strangely moved me, its genuineness is its strength, and ultimately its primary concern is in the humanity and regardless of the politics and we should not forget that these are children."

    by Richard Ansett

    , Hunger TV

  • "If you watch one film this week, make it Leave to Remain"

    "So, is it worth seeing? Oh for sure. If only to see how terrifying it must be for someone so young with minimal English to arrive in this country. ... Listening to the things the teenagers describe the things they witnessed in their own countries by such tender ages is enough to make you take a long hard look at your own life and be grateful for everything you have."

    by Jess Commons

    , The Debrief


    "Toby Jones has joined the cast of Bruce Goodison's "Leave to Remain," a coming-of-age story centering on a group of teenagers who have escaped their respective countries and banded together in a hidden underworld of London. Principal photography is underway."

    , Indiewire


    "Film London has revealed the 12 projects participating inAudience on Demand, the training and mentorship programme addressing the changing face of feature film distribution."

    , Sceen Daily


    "Director Bruce Goodison trained young asylum seekers to star in a fact-based low-budget drama feature that tells the story of parentless teenagers fleeing their home countries and hoping to make a new life in the UK."

    , Televisual