ill Manors, the directorial debut of film-maker and musician Ben Drew (aka Plan B), has secured a distribution deal in the UK with award-winning Revolver Entertainment.
The feature is the fourth film produced through the micro-budget film-making scheme Film London Microwave to secure UK distribution. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors, Mum & Dad, Shifty and Freestyle, it will be screened in theatres across the UK.
Currently in post-production, ill Manors is a gritty multi-character tale set and shot in the East London area of Forest Gate, where Drew grew up. The film stars Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Shifty) and Natalie Press (Red Road, My Summer of Love) alongside a host of upcoming young talent.
Drew, who won the Brit Award for Best British Male earlier this year, is best known for his music, following his acclaimed album 'The Defamation of Strickland Banks'. However, he has been building a career on screen in parallel which included roles in Noel Clarke's Adulthood and 22.214.171.124, and starring opposite Michael Caine in Harry Brown. He is also due to star in the forthcoming The Sweeney alongside Ray Winstone.
Behind the camera, Drew previously wrote and directed a short film called Michelle, which served as a pilot for his debut feature.
Produced by Atif Ghani at Aimimage, ill Manors has been developed with Microwave since being greenlit through the scheme in 2009.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, said of the news: "This is the fourth Microwave film to secure distribution in the UK and is yet more proof that, with Ben and ill Manors, we have backed another team and project with commercial value which the industry wants to invest in. Film London has been working with Ben for almost two years now and backed ill Manors before he had a hit album or we'd seen Harry Brown. We pride ourselves in discovering raw talent, so it has been fantastic to see his career - across film and music - take off in such a remarkable way."
With offices in London and LA, Revolver Entertainment is the company behind the UK releases of much talked-about recent titles including Banksy's Oscar®-nominated documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop and Cary Fukunaga's thriller Sin Nombre. Talking about the new deal, the Managing Director of Revolver Justin Marciano, said: "We first sat down with Ben to discuss this project three years ago and it was clear to us then that he was an exceptional talent. We're looking forward to showing the world exactly what we saw then, that not only is he one of the most exciting music artists working today, he is also one of the most dynamic directors too."
About Revolver, Wootton commented: "Their track record for helping guide films to their audience in the most efficient way possible is very encouraging and we look forward to working with them on ill Manors to ensure the film reaches its potential."
With a unique training-through-production approach, Film London Microwave has served as a launch pad for film-making talent since it launched in 2006. Microwave alumni include rising stars Riz Ahmed and Daniel Mays (Made in Dagenham, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang) and Shifty director Eran Creevy, who was nominated for a BAFTA® award and is currently involved in his next project, a multi-million pound budget film, Welcome to the Punch, exec produced by Ridley Scott and starring James McAvoy.
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