Beyond Fiction and Harvest Pictures are delighted to announce that its film Obey will celebrate its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on 22nd April 2018.

Obey will be in competition within the International Narrative Competition category along with 10 International (non-US) narrative films that will compete for Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Actor and Best Actress.

Set against the backdrop of social unrest in London Obey is about Leon, a nineteen-year-old boy with an alcoholic mother who has grown up in and out of care. Finally free from adult supervision, Leon begins to rail against the injustice of his reality as his dreams become more and more unattainable and distant. Oppressed at home and hunted on the streets by local gangs, Leon’s existence is suffocating, and all too real. When he meets Twiggy, a beautiful blond girl living in a local squat something stirs inside of him. As she introduces him to her world, the weight of his past lifts. He is in love for the first time and for a moment escapes the reality of his unrelenting existence. But naïve to the affluent world supporting Twiggy’s hedonistic lifestyle, Leon is unprepared when Twiggy no longer wants him around. Leon withdraws, allowing his raw and unhampered emotions to take over in the blind fight against his unjust existence with terrifying and brutal consequences.

Obey is lead by mixed-race new talent Marcus Rutherford, it also stars well known British blacktress T’Nia Miller. The film is a directorial debut feature from Jamie Jones whose award-winning short film The Nest starring Vicky McClure was recently selected for Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and Tampere Film Festival 2017. Emily Jones of Beyond Fiction and Ross Williams of Harvest Pictures will produce, with Sound Design by Ben Baird (Lady Macbeth, The Levelling) [2]. Executive Producer is John Giwa-Amu (The Party, The Silent Storm, The Machine) [1] of Red and Black Films.

Rutherford (Leon) hails from Nottingham and discovered acting through Shane Meadows ¬affiliated drama non¬ profit The Television Workshop – an organisation that produced actors such as Vicky McClure, Jack O’Connell, and Samantha Morton. He has acted in County Lines short, to be made in to a feature in 2018 (dir- Henry Blake), BBC’s Shakespeare and Hathaway and A Stitch In Time short (Lead, dir Graham Atkins-Hughes) Marcus has also acted in music videos and short films like Gangsters (RSA Films, Lead male 2016) and Sibling Rivalry (dir. Peter Walker, 2015) and Dying For It (dir. Tim Evans, Stage, 2014). Obey will be Rutherford’s first feature.

(l-r) Obey actors Marcus Rutherford; T’Nia Miller. Executive Producer John Giwa-Amu

Miller plays Leon’s mother, Chelsea and is a well-known face on TV world. In 2016 she played Gail Watkins (Wagstaffe, ITV Studios, Colin Teague). Julie in Unforgotten, series 2 (Mainstreet Pictures / ITV, Andy Wilson 2016), Aleesha in Marcella (also starring Nicholas Pinnock – ITV, Jonathan Teplitzky), Helen Harris (recurring), Guilt (Lionsgate for ABC, Gary Fleder). She also starred in two feature films; as J.J. in Stud Life (New Lime Republic Ltd, Campbell X) and a doctor in The Disappeared (Lost Tribe Productions, Johnny Kevorkian).

Exec-Producer Giwa-Amu is Welsh-Nigerian. His first feature was the BIFA nominated Little White Lies, Official Selection at Moscow and winner of two BAFTA Cymru Awards. He’s been nominated for the Screen Nation Award twice and is an honouree of the BFI initiative, Breakthrough Brits. His short films have won The 48 Hour Film Challenge and the BBC New Filmmaker Award at Brief Encounters. At Cannes 2015 John was named one of the world’s most promising new producers by Screen International in its yearly showcase, Future Leaders. John sits on the Pact Film Policy Group, Ffilm Cymru Wales, BAFTA Cymru and has guest lectured at The National Film and Television School and The University of Wales.
He is the co-founder of Red and Black Films with long-term friend Caradog James and has been the man behind sci-fi film The Call Up and horror flick The Silent Storm, and oversaw the distribution of Don’t Knock Twice.  

Director Jamie Jones said: “I’m delighted to have our World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. The journey to get to this point has been long – so I am thrilled that the cast and crew who have worked so hard can bask in this glory! Without their determination and dedication, we wouldn’t have got this far. It’s been such a collaborative process every step of the way and we are such a tight team, so really this is a dream for us all.

Obey is a social drama – a politically driven film that highlights the tough plight and frustrations of young adults growing up in London so I am hopeful that it resonates with NY audiences. London and New York are both global cities with complex multi-cultural societies, and I am excited to show an aspect of London that is often unrepresented in cinema to a New York audience.”


References:

[1] TBB interview with Producer John Giwa-Amu – http://thebritishblacklist.co.uk/screens-2015-future-leader-producer-of-the-call-up-john-giwa-amu-talks-exciting-projects-sci-fi-cannes/

[2] TBB interview with Naomie Ackie, BIFA award-winning actress about her role in Lady Macbeth – http://thebritishblacklist.co.uk/naomi-ackie-speaks-to-tbb-about-her-role-in-new-period-drama-lady-macbeth/