A Brixton Tale, a film that could define how the world sees Brixton for years to come, goes on general release on 17 September.
Its launch screening will be on Thursday 16 September at the Ritzy on Windrush Square with directors Darragh Carey and Bertrand Desrochers, writer Rupert Baynham, and lead actor Ola Orebiyi there to take part in a question and answer session.
The film was shot around Southwyck House – the Barrier Block – and the Moorlands estate.
The film-makers met at the London Film School and decided to produce Rupert’s graduation script.
“Nobody had done that before,” they say, “but we didn’t want to spend years making shorts.
“Everyone said ‘No’.
“We were told public funding would take years.
“We didn’t want to keep this film simple. It might be our only chance to make a movie.
“So we made it into a tragic romance with the feel of a thriller.
“We wanted it to look and sound big and dramatic.
“We wanted to work with non-actors and keep all the bad language and base it in the real world.”
The budget, compared to the average feature film was a tiny £150,000 – and none of it came from public funds.
Rupert, Darragh and Bertrand put their own savings into the project to help kickstart it, beginning development the day they graduated from film school.
They cut a whole scene every day to make their 18-day shoot, but only managed to shoot three quarters of the final draft – “meaning a challenging edit”. Lack of money meant post-production took three years as the film-makers took regular jobs to pay for it.
Shot in and around the Moorlands estate, and in collaboration with the community, Dexter, Rose, Dennis, Adonis, Remz, and Mills were all used as actors in the film.
Executive producer Dennis Gyamfi led the street casting process.
The Darius role is based on Dexter’s real-life story as a reformed gang member.
He was arrested by police for no good reason on the last day of shooting – just before one of his most important scenes.
Dennis Gyamfi, who grew up on the Moorlands Estate, created a short film set there, Ringing, with local people and help from the Positive View charity in 2016.
Ola Orebiyi has featured in cult TV hit Upstart Crow, The Russo Brothers’ Cherry, and critical success Limbo. A Brixton Tale is his first lead role in a feature film.
Lily Newmark has starred in Pin Cushion, Misbehaviour, Sex Educationand Cursed.
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.
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.
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 Desrochers 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.
Visit the film’s website