About the film
Left alone while his family runs a Chinese take-away, nine year old Billy Wong creates fantasy worlds in his head defined by Samurais and Star Wars. So when his mother runs away with another man, Billy decides the best way to win her back is by attacking her lover... with his Triad brother's Japanese Samurai sword.
Needless-to-say, this has very dangerous ramifications not just for the lover but also for Billy and his family. Billy soon discovers that retribution in the real world doesn't come as easy as the cartoon heroism of his vivid imagination.
Set in Lewisham, South London, Terrapin (previously Samurai Sword) is an exploration of the Chinese Triad gang culture in London, which often attracts culturally-disaffected youths, providing them with a shared identity, albeit a sometimes dangerous one.
From the director
"Samurai Sword is set in the British-Chinese community in Lewisham, London, and is based on my own personal experience of Chinese gangsters whilst I was growing up. It examines the relationship between a young, second-generation boy (who is growing up 'British') and his Chinese father, a largely absent figure, whose wife has left him for a more affectionate - and tactile - Englishman. The boy, influenced by his older brother's unwise interest in Chinese gangsters, or 'Triads', decides to win his mother back by attacking her English boyfriend with a favoured Triad weapon - a Japanese Samurai Sword - which he borrows from his older brother.
This coming-of-age story is a study of isolation - both cultural and familial - and what lengths a young boy will go to win his family back. It is my hope that Samurai Swordwill add to the panoply of current, diverse British films, and help lend a voice to a cinematically largely-unseen community."
Meet the team
Director and writer Lab Ky Mo
Lab has been shooting and developing films with Film London, BBC Writersroom and B3 Media for the UK Film Coucil. Of his many short films, My Dad the Communist was singled out by the UK Film Council as one of the standout short films of that year; it was subsequently picked up by the British Council for international distribution worldwide before winning the Audience Award at the East London Film Festival. Another film, 3 Mile Radius, was in competition at the Soho Film Festival before winning another Audience Award at the Wirral International Film Festival. In television, Lab has helmed TV series The Cut for the BBC and Hollyoaks for Channel 4. He has also written and directed an 8-part reality TV series Cooking Queen for NTV Europe. Lab's most recent short film Japanese Samurai Sword was funded and executive produced by Film London; the film premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2015.
Producer Angélique Talio
Angélique is an experienced short films producer and worked on many features whilst at the film fund Aramid Capital Partners (W, In The Loop, Chéri, Dorian Gray, Blue Valentine, Bronson, The Edge Of Love). She left the company at the end of 2012 to start producing her own films. Her latest short commissioned by Film London, Japanese Samurai Sword, premièred at the BFI London Film Festival 2015. She co-produced Some Candid Observations On The Eve Of The End Of The World, also supported by Film London, which won London Calling Best Film Jury Award by Film London 2014, premièred at the LFF and was BAFTA long-listed in 2015. Her dark comedy short Shut Up, selected at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (York - UK) 2015, also premièred at the London Short Film Festival 2015. Though residing in London since 2000, she was born and grew up in Brittany, France.
Watch Lab Ky Mo's showreel