ROCKS | Special Presentation | BFI London Film Festival 2019

ROCKS | Special Presentation | BFI London Film Festival 2019

Director Sarah Gavron and the screenwriters and cast of Rocks attend the film’s red carpet gala at the 2019 London Film Festival.

Olushola Joy Omotoso, ‘Rocks’ to her mates, is a London teenager with ordinary teenage cares; hanging with her crew and helping to look after her little brother keeps her grounded. But on returning from an ordinary day at secondary school, she discovers her mother isn’t home. There’s just a little cash and an apology note. Fearing that she and her brother will be separated if the authorities find out, Rocks decides not to tell anyone and instead copes alone. Based on a script from award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson (Little Drummer Girl, LFF 2018), with a storyline conceived by Ikoko, the drama was developed through extensive workshops with Gavron and the female cast, all of whom were discovered through casting sessions at schools. Hélène Louvart’s (Happy as Lazzaro, LFF 2018) fluid, intimate cinematography helps give Rocks a persuasive immediacy and naturalism, with the girls vividly bringing their characters to life. What’s remarkable is that far from feeling as if the film has been cast with ‘non-actors’, Rocks features magnetic performances across the board – particularly from the trio at the heart of the story. Kosar Ali and Shaneigha-Monik Greyson are great as the friends pulling Rocks in different directions, and Bukky Bakray is fearless and entrancing in the title role. Along with the whole filmmaking team, they give voice to the London girls you see every day.

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