Brixton film to premiere at top international festival

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A Brixton Tale, a feature film shot around Southwyck House – the Barrier Block – and the Moorlands Estate, will premiere at this year’s Slamdance 2021 international film festival.

Written, performed and shot in collaboration with the community, A Brixton Tale sees wealthy YouTuber Leah choosing shy youth Benji as the subject of a documentary about Brixton.

They fall for each other, but the desire for edgy footage leads them down a violent path.

The film is written, produced, directed and acted by a diverse and talented team.

One of the producers is Dennis Gyamfi who grew up on the Moorlands Estate.

He created a short film set on the estate, Ringing, with local people and help from the Positive View charity in 2016.

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He also founded Endz2Endz, a youth magazine designed to bridge divides between neighbourhoods.

He has since followed a career in producing, directing and advocacy.

A Spirit of London Award winner, Dennis’ work on Reprobate helped him to secure a position as assistant producer at Sprout Films, work within Gina Carter and Idris Elba.

Ola Orebiyi stars as Benji. He has featured in cult TV hit Upstart Crow, The Russo Brothers’ Cherry, and critical success LimboA Brixton Tale is his first lead role in a feature film.

Lily Newmark, who plays Leah, has starred in Pin CushionMisbehaviourSex Education and Cursed. She was nominated for Best Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards in 2017.

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Other cast members include Jaime Winstone who starred in Charlie Brooker’s Dead SetKidulthood by Noel Clark, Love Rosie, and Made in Dagenham, and was acclaimed for her role as Barbara Windsor in the BBC’s Babs.

Craige Middleburg works as a recording artist; his acting credits includes Eastenders.

Barney Harris, named one of Screen Daily’s Stars of Tomorrow, featured in Billionaire Boy’s Club and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Half-time Walk. He will star in Brighton Beach alongside FKA Twigs, and the Wheel of Time series.

Producing with Dennis Gyamfi is Beau Rambaut, an actor and producer from London, who has worked on a number of award-winning films. She is committed to telling authentic stories with resonance for working class communities, and to bringing together crews from diverse backgrounds.

Writer Chi Mai from Vietnam worked as a journalist and copywriter before making her first documentary Down The Stream, which explores the aspirations of girls growing up on the Mekong river, and was named among Vimeo’s Best of 2015.

Her co-writer Rupert Baynham is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and The London Film School. He has also been a tennis coach, an advertising copywriter, and a production assistant on QI and the BBC drama River. His work as a writer explores subjective morality and clashes of culture. A Brixton Tale is his first feature.

The film has two directors – Darragh Carey from Ireland has a background is advertising, with 13 years specialising in TV commercials. His work has won more than 40 creative awards. A Brixton Tale is his first feature film. Bertrand Desrocjers is a Québécois writer-director who has been making films since childhood and was a videographer for Time Out London and a filmmaking tutor for First Nations communities in northern Canada. A Brixton Tale is also his first feature film. Both are graduates of the London Film School.

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The 76-minute film’s premiere will be at an online version of the Slamdance Film Festival – a showcase for “raw and innovative filmmaking that lives and bleeds by its mantra: By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers”.

Filmmakers who first presented their work at the festival are now amongst the biggest names in the entertainment industry. 

Slamdance usually takes place annually in the Utah ski resort of Park City at the same time as the Sundance festival. 

This year itwill be online from February 12 to 25 with free online screenings of films and an invitation-only event for selected filmmakers in Californi’s Joshua Tree national park.

Unstoppable, Slamdance’s first programme for filmmakers with disabilities will show this year.

Visit the film’s website