2019 Selection Announced!
Apostasy
The Levelling
LADY MACBETH

Beauty Queens

Genre:
Drama
Logline:
During the Birmingham race riots of 2005, two young boys struggle to reconcile their friendship with divided loyalties, as a growing hysteria forces them to take sides they may live to regret.

Development

Production

Completed

October 2005. Lozells Road in West Birmingham is a teeming melting pot of races and faces living in one of the most deprived parts of the city. Two friends, Nathaniel and Javed are bonded playstation and music buddies, but unlike many others around them, have actually decided to try and complete their A-Levels. Then, following rumours swirling around local pirate radio stations of a sexual assault of a young Jamaican minor by a shopkeeper at a Black beauty products shop, their worlds change forever. Over the course of a week, ‘Beauty Queens’ becomes the epicentre of increasing tensions and a symbol of disenfranchisement. To make matters worse, the shop is owned by Javed’s uncle. The pair are forced to pick loyalties and take sides normally alien to them. Their world, full of hope and possibility, now looks so much more complicated. The hysteria grows and communities struggle to see reason. Violence erupts. When the dust eventually settles, the question will be… can the scars ever be healed?

THE TEAM

Billy Dosanjh (Director)
Billy is principally a visual artist and filmmaker who makes work primarily about the de-industrialised factory towns of the Black Country, particularly Smethwick, a harsh romanticised setting where thousands of manual labourers were invited in the 1960s. He was selected for a year-long placement in the BBC’s Wonderland department and has subsequently made work including: documentaries for the respected ‘Unreported World' strand; assistant director to Kevin Macdonald at Ridley Scott Associates on the ‘in a day’ collage films; directing "Year Zero: Black Country", and "Heaven Hell", artist films funded by the Arts Council; directing the documentary "The Sikhs of Smethwick" for BBC4.

Billy has been nominated for the Derek Jarman Artist Film award and is developing a TV drama series with Objective Fiction; and directing a feature documentary with Archer’s Mark in Cameroon, amongst other work. He trained at the National Film and Television School where his graduation film, A Miracle in West Brom, won Billy several nominations and awards including the Satyajit Ray award Grierson Best Newcomer and an RTS.

For more information visit www.billy-dosanjh.com

Billy is represented by Curtis Brown for film and TV and United Agents for literary work.

Follow Billy on Instagram @billster187

 

Steven Camden (Writer)
Steven Camden (aka Polarbear) is one of the most respected spoken word artists in the UK. 

Internationally performing his work since 2007, Camden has graced stages from Kuala Lumpur to California via Glastonbury and The Royal Shakespeare Company. His work has featured on BBC Radio 1, 3 and 6.  A published author, Steven has written three Young Adult novels for HarperCollins: Tape, It's About Love, and Nobody Real. His poetry collection Everything All At Once was published in July 2018.

As a playwright, Stephen's debut play Back Down, was produced by the Birmingham REP and toured nationally in 2015. He was co-writer and script mentor on the Akram Khan Company's Olivier Award winning production Desh, as well as script writer for LIFT festival's acclaimed production Turfed. His theatre piece Mouth Open, Story Jump Out, received five star reviews and toured internationally. His most recent play, I Knew You, was performed at the Birmingham REP in 2017 and toured nationally.

Steven's first Radio 4 play, Sleeping Dogs, aired in 2013, and he is developing an original television series with Expectation Entertainment.

Follow Steven on Twitter @homeofpolar

 

Kurban Kassam (Producer)
Kurban recently produced the feature film “The Party” staring Kristen Scott-Thomas, Timothy Spall and Cillian Murphy. The film premiered at Berlinale 2017, winning the German Distributors Guild Award. In 2017 Kurban also produced and co-wrote “The Hungry”, an adaptation of Titus Andronicus, for Amazon Studios. In 2016, he produced the world's first interactive feature film “Late Shift", which won a BAFTA Cymru in 2018, and co-produced BAFTA nominated “The Pass", with 'Notting Hill’  producer Duncan Kenworthy. Prior to that, he worked on “Who is Dayani Cristal”, winner of the Cinematography Award at Sundance 2013, "20,000 Days on Earth" which won Best Direction and Best Editing awards at Sundance 2014.

Kurban previously worked with Rainmark Films and Pulse Films developing projects, including a six part BBC series directed by Steve McQueen due to begin shooting in June 2019. He graduated from the National Film and Television School, where he won the Christie Award for outstanding contribution, and has produced or co-produced multiple award winning short films including BAFTA nominated ORBIT EVER AFTER.

Find Kurban on Facebook - www.facebook.com/kurbank2

    

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In Association With

Creative England BFI BBC Films Screenskills