BFI & Film 4 Collaborate On Michaela Coel & Arinzé Kene Lead Musical Adaptation of Play, Been So Long

Principal photography has started on Been So Long, a modern day love story set on the streets of Camden and shooting across London. The soundtrack will be a diverse mix of RnB, Nu Soul, UK dance and cinematic orchestration, featuring music from up and coming guest producers.

Romance, rage and revenge. Been So Long is a neon soaked, modern day romance set on the streets of London’s musical hot-bed of Camden. We follow Simone (Michaela Coel), a dedicated single mother who, on a rare night on the town is charmed by a handsome yet troubled stranger (Arinze Kene); igniting old and new feelings. Set against the backdrop of an ever-changing city, Been So Long is a fresh take on love, life and moving on.

Based on the critically acclaimed stage musical by Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill that premiered at The Young Vic, the feature will be directed by Tinge Krishnan (Junkhearts), who was awarded a BAFTA for her short film Shadowscan. The project has been developed for the screen by BAFTA-nominated producers Nadine Marsh-Edwards (Bhaji on the Beach, Young Soul Rebels) and Amanda Jenks (The Girl, An Englishman in York), who together run Greenacre Films. Been So Long was developed by the BFI and production is co-financed by the BFI and Film4, with executive producers Lizzie Francke, Eva Yates, Jane Wright and Indira Guha. Fabien Westerhoff’s Film Constellation is handling international sales

Star-of-the-moment Michaela Coel, who wowed critics and audiences in her BAFTA-winning performance as Tracey in Channel 4’s comedy Chewing Gum, plays Simone – a young, spirited, single minded mum with the soul of a poet. She leads the exciting principal cast alongside Arinzé Kene (The Pass, One Night in Miami) as the seductive Raymond; BAFTA EE Rising Star nominee George Mackay (Captain Fantastic, Pride) who plays broken-hearted fantasist Gil; and Ronke Adekoluejo (Chewing Gum, Cold Feet), who completes the quartet of unwitting star-crossed lovers, as Simone’s gutsy, happy-go-lucky best friend Yvonne. Completing the all-singing, all-dancing cast is an impressive line-up, including Ashley Thomas (24, Top Boy), Joe Dempsie (Game Of Thrones, Skins), Luke Norris (Poldark, The Duchess), Rakie Ayola (Dredd, No Offence) and introducing Mya Lewis (Olaf’s Quest).

Tinge Krishnan, Director of Been So Long said:

To be part of the team bringing Che and Arthur’s stage musical to the big screen is a truly exciting challenge. The cast and crew we have are by far the best team we could have assembled to do this justice. So much creativity has come from the rehearsal process and we are energised to have the cameras rolling.

Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks of Greenacre Films said:

Seeing Been So Long start shooting this week has been a huge highlight for Greenacre Films. The time planning with our partners during development and prep has been a rewarding process and led us to a confident start of principal photography. We couldn’t be happier to have the immensely talented Tinge Krishnan directing such an incredible cast and we are looking forward to the rest of the shoot.



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