A WRITER and producer from Hillingdon will release his feature film, Cup Of Cheer, on December 7, just in time for Christmas.

The film tells the story of big-city journalist Mary, who goes to the small-town Snowy Heights for the holidays.

While there, she falls in love with the owner of a hot cocoa shop, Cup Of Cheer. 

Andy Lewis, who grew up in Hillingdon and went to Bishopshalt School, co-wrote the film with director Jake Horowitz in the borough last winter.

Though Mr Lewis moved to Canada in 2019, to pursue his film-making career, he returns home every Christmas.

In the film, Mary goes to Snowy Heights on a work trip, but it also happens to be where she grew up.

Mr Lewis said: “It’s weirdly one of the few things that mirrors my personal life, since I live in Toronto in Canada. But I couldn't imagine not going home to spend Christmas with my family in Hillingdon.

“Even this year, I'm going home for Christmas, though of course I won't get to see as many people or do as many things as usual.”

His family and some of his close friends from school still live here, so he says he still feels very connected to the area.

He first experienced a film set when he was an extra on the TV Series Big School, filmed at Bishopshalt.

“My writing/filmmaking career and home town have always gone hand in hand,” he said.

Mr Lewis has twice been shortlisted and published at the Hillingdon Literary Festival after first getting involved in writing at school, producing poetry with friends.

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After finishing school, he did some writing courses with Literary Kitchen in London before starting a degree in Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton.

While there, he met Jake Horowitz and they created another film together, called All About Who You Know.

They then had to write a Christmas movie and decided it would be more fun to produce a satire of one.

Mr Lewis said: “When I lived at home, my mum would always watch those cheesy American TV Christmas films on Channel 5, and she would enjoy making fun of them and predicting the next line.

“So, I guess the seed of that idea was already planted from when I grew up in Hillingdon.”

A trailer for the film ends with the assertion that small towns are better than big cities.

Mr Lewis said: “That seems to always be the subtext of the movies we're making fun of - that the big city is evil and bad and that small towns are homely and Christmassy.

“I never really understood that growing up in Hillingdon. You get the best of both worlds.”

A month after writing the film, Mr Lewis was on set in Canada and finished filming just two weeks before the worldwide lockdowns began.

He wants to produce more comedies and he’s hoping to do some writing in Hillingdon over Christmas.

Cup Of Cheer has just become the number one movie at the box office in Canada and has rave reviews in the US.

“I'm hoping that, given how rough this year has been, I can make my friends, family and fellow Hillingdon folk have a good laugh and feel some Christmas spirit with Cup Of Cheer,” said Mr Lewis.

You can watch it on the Sky Store, Amazon, iTunes, and Virgin from December 7.