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Rapper's Directorial Debut Goes Into Production

Film London and BBC Films have announced the start of principal photography on ill Manors, a film by Ben Drew - better known as rapper Plan B - which he will write and direct.
This is the sixth film to go into production under the successful micro-budget feature film fund, Film London Microwave.
Starring Riz Ahmed and Natalie Press, filming began on September 1 and continues for four weeks on location in London.
Whilst Ben Drew is best known for his music career with this year's number 1 smash hit album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, Drew has been working on his film career both in front and behind the camera for many years and in 2009, was selected as one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow, which recognises budding film talent.
After seeing Drew act in one of his early music videos, Noel Clarke cast him in Adulthood and then again in, he has also starred opposite Michael Caine in the critically acclaimed Harry Brown. He also made a short, Michelle, which was produced as a pilot for ill Manors.
Drew's feature directorial debut is a multi-character story set against the tough streets of Forest Gate, east London, where everyone is fighting for respect. The film focuses on four core characters as they survive on the streets and their lives intersect. Each story weaves into one another painting an ultra-realistic gritty picture of the world, which is on the brink of self-destruction.
Writer/Director Drew brings his intimate knowledge of this east London world and its people and marries it with contemporary hip-hop and grime culture.
The film stars some of Britain's finest acting talent including award winners, Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Shifty) and Natalie Press (Red Road, My Summer of Love, 50 Dead Men Walking) and the Director of Photography is Gary Shaw, who recently worked on Duncan Jones' Moon.
ill Manors has been developed with Film london since Drew and his Producer Atif Ghani at Aimimage completed the pilot Michelle in 2008, which provided inspiration for the feature. This is Ghani's second fully-financed feature film, having previously completed the award-winning feature film, The Last Thakur, for Artificial Eye and More4. ill Manors is another example of Aimimage supporting new and independent-minded filmmakers by providing them with camera and production facilities.
Ben Drew commented: "I am delighted that ill Manors is finally moving from an idea in my head into people, things and real locations. We have a great team and cast, and I am excited about what we will try and do together!"
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, said: "Film London Microwave combines creative talent with an entrepreneurial approach, producing British films which can compete commercially in today's competitive market while also supporting the next generation of filmmakers. The scheme continues to attract hugely exciting new talent and I'm delighted that first time Writer/Director Ben Drew has come on board with ill Manors.
"The Film London Microwave model demands enormous creativity from the production team as micro-budget filmmakers, by definition, need to be more inventive in order to make a film with production values fit for a commercial audience."
Unique in its approach to filmmaking, Microwave - which also receives support from Skillset - has an integrated training programme, which sees filmmakers benefiting from crucial guidance and mentoring throughout the filmmaking process.
The scheme's three completed features - Mum & Dad, Shifty and Freestyle, have achieved UK theatrical releases and sold well in other territories. Microwave acts as a launch-pad for filmmakers' careers and Eran Creevy, Writer/Director of Shofty, has secured funding for his next feature, Welcome to the Punch.
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