Gone Too Far, a feature film project written by Bola Agbaje, and to be directed by Destiny Ekaragha (both Nigerian Brits) is a project we first alerted you to over a year ago, when it was selected as one of 12 projects shortlisted for Film London’s 4-day boot camp, backed by BBC Films, and includes seminars, masterclasses and mentoring from established directors, writers and producers.
Afterward, the filmmaker teams were given an extended development period, to eventually later pitch their projects to a greenlight panel; and after that, 6 of the 12 feature projects were to be greenlit in February 2012, with budgets of up to £120,000, or about $186,000.
Skip ahead a year later, to news that the British Film Institute (via its BFI Film Fund's new initiative that's intent on supporting new voices and emerging filmmakers) and Poisson Rouge Pictures are teaming to finance Gone Too Far, a coming of age comedy based in Peckham, which is based on Agbaje’s Olivier award winning play, about two brothers in a run-down part of South London.
The film will be Destiny Ekaragha's feature-length directorial debut. Her name especially should be familiar to long-time S&A readers, as we've featured 2 of her short films A Bloody Muddle and Tight Jeans, in the last year, and is one of the up-and-comers I had planned to feature in the new S&A "Black Filmmakers To Watch" series; so this news beat me to it; but she'll still be profiled eventually.
The longer synopsis reads:
GONE TOO FAR is a brilliantly funny, sharp and observant coming-of-age comedy in the tradition of The Breakfast Club and Bend it Like Beckham with a strong urban identity in the vein of La Haine and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. It's also an incredibly original and exciting representation of black Britain for the screen; a wonderful opportunity to portray a vibrant group in a way that has never been done before. Set on a small up-beat estate in Peckham, in the heart of the Afro-Carribean community, the film follows a group of kids (led by two estranged teenage brothers meeting for the first time – Yemi and his older brother Ikudayisi, who's arriving from Nigeria) over a single day as they fight to make their dreams comes true. As the Notting Hill Carnival beats away in NW London, this group of kids are having their own carnival in SE15.
Last week we revealed some of the film's starring cast, although without knowledge of what roles exactly they'll all be playing. Today we have more info on the cast, as well as their individual roles.
The film features a young cast of up and coming actors, with Malachi Kirby (My Brother The Devil) taking the role of Yemi. Kirby was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2011 Evening Standard Awards for his role in the play Mogadishu. Nigerian actor OC. Ukeje, soon to be seen in Half of a Yellow Sun alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, will play Ikudayisi. Also appearing are Shanika Warren-Markland (Adulthood, 126.96.36.199) as Armani, the object of Yemi's desire, and Adelayo Adedayo (Sket) as her best friend Paris. Nigerian actress Golda John, who will next be seen alongside Simon Pegg in A Fantastic Fear of Everything, will play Yemi and Ikudayisi's mother.
"Bola has crafted a wonderfully witty screenplay while Destiny's vibrant shorts 'Tight Jeans' and 'In The Park' really mark her out as a talent to watch… The two are a formidably talented combination," said BFI Film Fund senior executive Lizzie Francke.
Gone Too Far will be produced by Christopher Granier-Deferre of Poisson Rouge Pictures with Francke and Chris Collins, also from BFI, overseeing the project for the Film Fund.
Production is scheduled to begin on October 22 for four weeks.
Congrats to Bola Agbaje and Destiny Ekaragha (who was one of S&A's young black UK talents to watch when we were first introduced to her in 2009)! This is a project we'll continue to watch, and will be talking about in 2013, I'm sure.