It should have been a simple lift to a party... Now it’s a rescue mission.

A friendship hangs by a thread, and trusting a terrifying stranger is the only option.

Kay and Beck are sixteen and invincible.

With a party to get to, light disappearing, and half the moors to cross, there’s no other option than to hitchhike.

When a stranger offers a lift, they have a choice to make. There are rules to this, and a man on his own breaks almost all of them. But needs must... and he has a baby seat in the back.

They set off on a drive that will test their nerves and their friendship, shatter their notions of trust, and show that they may not be as bullet-proof as they think.

Writer & Director Biographies

Sam McMullen

Sam was born and is based in London, but raised in Paris and Johannesburg. He began directing in the theatre in Ireland while studying History & Political Science at Trinity College Dublin. In 2016, he graduated with an MA in Directing Fiction from the National Film & Television School.

Sam’s work is defined by a strong visual style and dark sense of humour, while exploring worlds that are new and often unsettling. He has had the pleasure of directing outstanding actors like Ian McKellen, George MacKay, John Shrapnel, and Marion Bailey. The Cocaine Famine, his sixth and most recent short film, has screened at 40 international festivals, picking up 10 awards and further nominations for Best Comedy Short and Best Director.

Hitchhikers will be Sam’s first feature, but he has experience of the format having worked as a director’s assistant on both Florian Zeller’s The Father and James Kent’s The Aftermath, as well as a Second Unit Director on a number of feature projects.

Sam also works as a freelance promo writer and director for BBC Creative and BBC News, alongside developing several original short and feature projects


Elena Ruscombe-King 

Elena is a BAFTA-winning screenwriter and playwright from Dartmoor in Devon. She moved to London to attend Goldsmiths College where she studied Media and Modern Literature, specialising in screenwriting. Her final year script earned her a place in the National Film and Television School’s MA Screenwriting.

While at the NFTS, Elena developed her craft and wrote a series of long-form scripts including Sin-Eater (Feature), Hymns (Feature) and Australis (Pilot for a television series) as well as collaborating on several shorts. A Love Story (dir: Anushka Kishani Nannanyakkara) went on to win the BAFTA for British Short Animation, as well as the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence Award, the Cilect Student Animation award and many others; while Spaghetti Junction (dir: Noor Tadger) screened at festivals worldwide including Northwest, Anibar and 3D Wire. Since leaving the NFTS she continues to develop projects for film and TV, and frequently collaborates with the A Love Story team for commercial and fiction projects. 

Elena and Sam have been working together for three years, and Hitchhikers would be their first feature film as a duo.