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New Drama 'Kiri' Begins On Channel 4

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A first episode in a new four-part drama is set to air on Channel 4 this evening, 10 January, at 9pm.

Starring Sarah Lancashire, Kiri tells the story of the abduction of a young black girl, soon to be adopted by her white foster family. When Kiri goes missing, a trail of lies, blame, guilt and notoriety follows.

Miriam (Lancashire) is an experienced, no-nonsense social worker who loves and believes in her job, but has a maverick and instinctive approach to protecting the children in her care. Shortly before Kiri is due to be adopted, Miriam arranges for the little girl to have an unsupervised visit with her biological grandparents. However, when Kiri disappears during the visit, the fingers of suspicion and blame from the police, the press, and even her colleagues, point at Miriam.

As the media spotlight around the story intensifies, Miriam, as well as both sets of families, are forced to ask tough questions, not just of themselves, but of each other.

Tobi (Lucian Msamati), Kiri's birth grandfather, finds both his race and dysfunctional relationship with his son, the prime suspect in Kiri's disappearance, under the microscope. Meanwhile Alice (Lia Williams), Kiri's fiercely articulate white foster mother, watches as her family starts to crumble under the pressure of very public grief.

Filming for Kiri took place for two weeks in August 2017 at locations across Bristol, including the Gloucester Road area, St Andrews Park, The Downs, the Cumberland Basin area near Spike Island, Napier Road and the Bear Pit. Driving shots feature Muller Road, Filton Avenue and St James Barton Roundabout. Bristol Film Office worked closely with the production team to negotiate special permissions for drone filming above the city whilst also facilitating recces, arranging vehicle access, road closures, bollard removal and tree cutting.

Discussing her experience of filming in and around Bristol's Gloucester Road, Sarah Lancashire said: "We filmed all of the exteriors there. It's Miriam's patch. It's fantastic, vibrant, really colourful, really edgy, completely non-conformist, which is very much who she is. They sort of complement one another... it was a really good place to film."

Jason Keatley, Location Manager, commented: "It was a pleasure filming Kiri in around the city of Bristol, with a massive helping hand from the Film Office who were incredibly accommodating in helping us achieve our goals at some tricky locations. When facing particular issues regarding the flying of drones in certain locations, thankfully they came up with solutions to keep all parties happy. I look forward to returning to Bristol on future projects, a city that is genuinely film friendly with excellent location support."

Natalie Moore, Bristol Film Office, added: "Bristol is an ideal urban backdrop for hard-hitting drama. Kiri's shoot follows a number of other dramas in a similar genre the city has hosted recently, like Broadchurch, Three Girls and Thirteen. This particular shoot involved a large amount of drone shooting, which is steadily rising in popularity in TV production. Making this possible required a great deal of liaison with park authorities and other partners to arrange special permissions, given the new drone regulations and bylaws introduced last year.

"I'm pleased to say we were able to help the production realise their ambitions to film above green spaces like St Andrews Park and The Downs, whilst helping to ensure normal activity like summer grass cutting didn't affect continuity. We were also able to link the production with private properties like Hamilton House, so that drones could be flown above the Gloucester Road area. The result is some really stunning on screen footage of Bristol from the skies, which I think will really complement and accentuates Kiri's compelling storyline."

Kiri begins on Channel 4 on Wednesday 10 January at 9pm.

Image: Kiri filming takes place on Leopold Street in Bristol. Image courtesy of Bristol Film Office.

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