Carefree retired teacher Tom and his new partner Iona have run away to start a new life together in the South of France, but when Tom’s estranged son shows up unannounced with his girlfriend Adèle, the past begins to catch up with them.

Brenda Blethyn award

“Passing Through by David Walter Hall is beautifully shot. The setting is the South of France: carefree, happy, sunny but with the unexpected arrival of an estranged son, we’re suddenly plunged into the mysteries and conflicts of the past. Why did he turn up out of the blue and with a girlfriend with as many secrets of her own? I cared about each character with varying degrees of sympathy. I even forgave the annoying visitor from Australia. The performances, led by Mark Little, are faultless and the beautifully nuanced direction from David Walter Hall, who also wrote the screenplay, is really impressive. There’s a great soundtrack too from Jonny Phillips.”

– Brenda Blethyn

About the film

Passing Through is the debut feature film by writer and director David Walter Hall. Shot in the town of Agde in the South of France with an international team assembled by Chicago-based producers P+Y Films, an ensemble cast featuring Mark Little, Angela Koo, Sam Baker Jones and Lilit Lesser, and the support of the local gypsy community, without whom we’d never have pulled it off.


During its 2023 festival run, Passing Through won:

The Brenda Blethyn First Feature Award
Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival 2023

Best First Time Feature Filmmaker
Barcelona Indie Awards Summer 2023

Best Feature
New Renaissance Film Festival 2023

For his role as Tom, Mark Little won:

Best Actor
Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival 2023

Best Actor
New Renaissance Film Festival 2023

Festivals and screenings

Passing Through was screened at festivals in 2023. It is due for a wider release later in 2024.

Belfast Film Festival9 Nov 2022Official selection: NI Independents
Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival12pm, 25 June 2023Official selection, winner of Brenda Blethyn First Feature Prize
New Renaissance Film Festival27 September-1 October 2023Official selection
Brighton Rocks International Film Festival18th November 2023Official selection
Silk Road International Film Festival13th-24th November 2023Official selection
NewfilmmakersNYJanuary 2024Official selection
Barcelona Indie AwardsMarch 2024Winner, Best First Time Feature Filmmaker (Summer 2023)

Find out more

Follow Passing Through on Facebook and Instagram.

Read about Passing Through on director David Walter Hall’s website. Follow @davidwalterhall on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the film on IMDB.

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From the director

Passing Through is as much about place as it is about people. This was why I chose to film the story rather than put on stage, and began my journey as a filmmaker. The town of Agde near the French Mediterranean coast is a place in which I’m fortunate to have spent a lot of time. I wanted to capture its spirit on film by creating a sense of a grimy but magical place, where outcasts of one kind or another are welcomed and thrive. Fundamental to the feel of the film is the music, which reflects the tsigane gypsy culture that has been a feature of this part of France since the 1930s, when many Spanish and Catalan speaking gypsies fled north to escape persecution under Franco. The intermingling of cultures and lifestyles in the film – Australian, English, French, Gypsy, rich and poor, swingers and the sexually repressed – in this quaint but rugged old town, keeps alive the eternal possibility of reinvention. For me the film is about clinging to optimism in the face of trauma and tragedy, and the strangeness and beauty of the surroundings are what make that possible.