New British Film OBEY Set Against the London Riots will Celebrate its UK Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival
Beyond Fiction and Harvest Pictures are delighted to announce that its film OBEY will celebrate its UK Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 27th June 2018. It will be in competition for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film.
OBEY won ‘Best Cinematography’ at the Tribeca Film Festival where it featured in the International Narrative Competition category for its World Premiere amongst rave reviews, including: “A Powerful, emotional debut” from The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw; “Absorbing...an out of this world, end-of-days feeling” Screen Daily and “A visceral experience…intense and moving…a masterful visual design” from Critical Critics.
OBEY is about Leon, a nineteen-year-old boy with an alcoholic mother who has grown up in and out of care. Introducing Marcus Rutherford as Leon, who plays the film’s central character, OBEY also stars Sophie Kennedy Clark (Philomena, Nymphomaniac, Black Mirror) as Twiggy and T'Nia Miller (Wagstaffe, Stud Life, Marcella, Guilt) as Leon’s mother.
OBEY is raw and uncompromising and set against the backdrop of the 2011 London riots. It is the directorial debut feature from Jamie Jones whose award-winning short film THE NEST starring Vicky McClure was recently selected for Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and Tampere Film Festival 2017. Produced by Emily Jones of Beyond Fiction and Ross Williams of Harvest Pictures, Executive Produced by John Giwa-Amu (The Party, The Silent Storm, The Machine) of Red & Black Films, with Sound Design by Ben Baird (Lady Macbeth, The Levelling) and Cinematography by Albert Salas.
Finally free from adult supervision, Leon begins to rail against the injustice of his reality as his dreams become more and more unattainable and distant. Oppressed at home and hunted on the streets by local gangs, Leon’s existence is suffocating, and all too real. When he meets Twiggy, a beautiful blond girl living in a local squat something stirs inside of him. As she introduces him to her world, the weight of his past lifts. He is in love for the first time and for a moment escapes the reality of his unrelenting existence. But naïve to the affluent world supporting Twiggy’s hedonistic lifestyle, Leon is unprepared when Twiggy no longer wants him around. Leon withdraws, allowing his raw and unhampered emotions to take over in the blind fight against his unjust existence with terrifying and brutal consequences.
Director Jamie Jones said "I’m delighted to have our UK Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The journey to get to this point has been long - so i am thrilled that the cast and crew who have worked so hard can bask in this glory! Without their determination and dedication we wouldn't have got this far. It's been such a collaborative process every step of the way and we are such a tight team, so really this is a dream for us all.
OBEY is a social drama - a politically driven film that highlights the tough plight and frustrations of young adults growing up in London so I am hopeful that it resonates with Scottish audiences. London and Edinburgh are both global cities with complex multi-cultural societies, and I am excited to show an aspect of London that is often unrepresented in cinema to an Edinburgh audience."
OBEY will have its UK Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2018 in the Best of British section and will be in Competition for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film.
Director – Jamie Jones
Jamie started making films in 2000. He was drawn to complex stories that were happening in and around his hometown of Swansea to do with violence and poverty. Straight out of film school he was commissioned by the BBC to make a documentary about a group of amateur boxers who were training for the British Boys championships. For most people boxing is seen as a brutal and violent sport, but Jamie wanted to explore the opportunities it afforded the impoverished boys. His first documentary ignited a theme often addressed throughout his films - why poverty so often evokes violence.
His next documentary for the BBC focused on evangelical Christians who were working to get homeless drug addicts and alcoholics off the streets and into their Christian rehabilitation programme. Far from being another sensational film about a bunch of crazy evangelicals, it actually exposed the flaws in our own society by showing how desperate these people are that they were willing to embrace such an extreme ideology in the hope of salvation.
15 years later, and after winning numerous short film awards, shooting music videos, documentaries and commercials in London Jamie felt it was the right time to shoot his first feature. The story of OBEY re-addresses the themes Jamie was so interested in when he started his film making career. It is a human story, exploring once again why poverty so often pushes people to extremes.
Jamie’s latest short film THE NEST starring Vicky McClure has just been selected for Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2017 and Tampere film festival 2017. To watch the trailer click here. He also made a documentary with VICE in 2017 called ‘Built on Steel’ which focuses on how workers at the factory reinvent themselves after being made redundant.
OBEY is his first feature film.
Marcus Rutherford (Leon)
Marcus Rutherford plays the main protagonist, Leon. Marcus discovered acting through Shane Meadows ¬affiliated drama non¬ profit The Television Workshop – an organisation that produced actors such as Vicky McClure, Jack O'Connell and Samantha Morton. He’s acted in County Lines short, to be made in to a feature in 2018 (dir- Henry Blake), BBC’s Shakespeare and Hathaway and A Stitch In Time short (Lead, dir Graham Atkins-Hughes) Marcus has also acted in music videos and short films like GANGSTERS (RSA Films, Lead male 2016) and SIBLING RIVALRY (dir. Peter Walker, 2015) and DYING FOR IT (dir. Tim Evans, Stage, 2014).
OBEY will be his first feature.
Marcus was born in Nottingham and now lives and works in London
Sophie Kennedy Clark (Twiggy)
SOPHIE KENNEDY CLARK plays Twiggy. Sophie has featured in a number of TV and film roles, such as: PHILOMENA (Young Philomena, dir. Stephen Frears, 2013), NYMPHOMANIAC (rouge B, dir. Lars Von Trier, 2012) and BLACK MIRROR (Channel 4, 2011).
T’Nia Miller (Chelsea)
T’NIA MILLER plays Leon’s mother, Chelsea. T’Nia is a well-known face in the TV world and in 2016 played Gail Watkins (WAGSTAFFE, ITV Studios, Colin Teague). She payed Julie in UNFORGOTTEN SERIES 2 (Mainstreet Pictures / ITV, Andy Wilson 2016), Aleesha in MARCELLA (ITV, Jonathan Teplitzky), Helen Harris (recurring), GUILT (Lionsgate for ABC, Gary Fleder). She has also recently completed two feature films; as J.J. in STUD LIFE (New Lime Republic Ltd, Campbell X) and the Doctor in THE DISAPPEARED (Lost Tribe Productions, Johnny Kevorkian).
Sam Gittins (Anton)
SAM GITTINS plays the role of Anton. Gittins has worked on a number of TV and lm productions, including: HOWL (dir. Paul Hyett, 2015), CALL THE MIDWIFE-SERIES 4 (BBC, 2014) and RIPPER STREET-SERIES 3 (BBC, 2014).
James Atwell (Chris)
James has worked with The Big House, a unique theatre company on a number of productions including 'Electric' at The Rio in Dalston and 'Knife Edge' at The Royal Court. The Guardian critic said of his performance in Electric "James Hogarth’s gauchely tentative projectionist deserves an award". The British Library commissioned James to write and perform a one man show about William Shakespeare to be broadcast live around the world as part of Shakespeare's birthday celebrations.