Monday, September 3, 2012

iLL MANORS Director Profile: Ben Drew

Ben Drew, better known as English rapper and singer-songwriter Plan B, began his career in film as an actor in Noel Clarke's 2008 film Adulthood. In 2009, he joined Michael Caine in Daniel Barber's thriller Harry Brown, which had its World Premiere at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. With iLL Manors, Ben Drew will mark his feature directorial debut.

Production on iLL Manors began in September 2010, but did not always go smoothly. The film is a gritty portrayal of violent crime in the Forest Gate area of London, so it is unsurprising that conflicts arose. After filming was completed, Ben told UK newspaper The Sun that "we’ve had bolts and screws thrown at us from the top of fucking council estate towers. We’ve been to crack houses where there are dirty needles lying around. And a gang were about 30 seconds away from smashing my face in." At the film's London premiere, Ben told MTV News that "crack heads robbed the laptop with the days rushes on it and me and one of the other guys in the crew chased him down and caught the mother-fucker and got the rushes back."

The film, which has received largely positive reviews utilizes six original Plan B songs to guide the film's interwoven narration. The film's lead single, also titled iLL Manors, was written as a reaction to the 2011 England riots and "society's failure to nurture its disadvantaged youth." The soundtrack for the film was the number one album the week of August 4th, 2012 in the UK.

ILL MANORS screening times:
  • Sun., Sept. 9th, 9:00 PM, THE BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
  • Tues., Sept. 11th, 4:15 PM, SCOTIABANK 4
  • Sat., Sept. 15th, 9:30 PM, SCOTIABANK 4

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