In their mid-30s, Eva (Oona Chaplin) and Kat (Natalia Tena) have a fun and carefree simple life in their London canal boat until Eva, inspired by her exceptional mother Germaine (played by her real mother Geraldine Chaplin), presents Kat with an ultimatum: she wants a child, which Kat is not in favour of. Anchor and Hope tells the story of when Kat’s friend Roger (David Verdaguer) agrees to be Kat and Eva’s donor, the three friends set out on an unconventional journey to start a family. 


The story begins when Kat’s friend Roger arrives from Spain to spend a week with the gals. During a night of heavy drinking, Eva announces that she would like a baby, which Kat squashes the idea immediately really, but eventually says yes. Eva also convinces Roger to say yes to donating sperm. Obviously, the morning after might pose a bit of confusion, and regret. After much discussion and discourse, as Kat realizes that it will end the bohemian lifestyle that she’s always envisioned with Eva., she reluctantly agrees to go along with the plan of motherhood. As the three begin to look forward as one family, their differing expectations of intimacy and responsibility put a heavy strain on their relationship and the three begin to drift apart. 

The story moves along with Roger staying on, and the three developing different relationships, until one day Eva has complications and loses the baby. This is where things take a more dramatic turn, as Kat tells Eva she is so sorry for her, when Eva was expecting to hear us.  The relationship ends, Eva leaves, while Kat and Roger continue living together. Six months pass and Kat tracks down Eva, who has continued on her own to get pregnant again. Seeing the baby room, Kat runs away. Then toward the end, Eva tracks Kat (and Roger) down and is invited back onto the boat. The End. What happens after is anyone’s guess really.


What does it mean to be a parent nowadays? Where does the desire to have kids come from? I am thirty, the age that biology obligates you to confront one of life’s most important questions: Do I want to have kids or not? And another question comes with it: Is there any other way of having a family that differs from the image I have known throughout my life? Apart from my biological family, I have had the opportunity to meet people I regard as family while doing what I love the most: making movies. While making my first feature film, 10,000 KM, I was able to gather most of my closest collaborators into a group that was more like a theatre troupe or a music band than a traditional shooting crew. The movie brought us closer and that bond, that complicated love, is what we want to show on screen.

Anchor and Hope is the logical continuation of this project. Gathering the “family” together again, I wanted to look at what it means to have a family. The story stems from a mixture between all of the lives of the filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors. For instance, the idea of setting the movie on the London canal arose from the fact that our actress, Natalia Tena, lives in a boat-house there. By fusing our personal and professional lives, real and imaginary, I hope to reveal the kind of truth that only appears in the process of making a movie; I hope to capture that magical point at which character and actor completely fuse into one.

The canal is a character of its own in the film, playing many different roles: a home, a passageway from one place to another, a symbol of freedom at times, a symbol of separation at others. This fluid universe of water and boats contrasts with the intensity of the manic “dry land” London as an important visual motif. The waves of the canal, sometimes choppy and sometimes peaceful, reflect the wants, desires, and needs of those who live on top of it as they navigate their love for one another.

ANCHOR AND HOPE is available on DIGITAL, VOD, AND DVD from Wolfe Releasing.

Running Time: 113 minutes

Directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet

Written by Carlos Marques-Marcet and Jules Nurrish

Starring Oona Chaplin, Natalia Tena, David Verdaguer and Geraldine Chaplin

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.