AR Ugas Talks … Monsters Never Die

Birmingham’s own AR Ugas is making waves in the film industry.

Recently chosen for the prestigious Momentum 2022 mentorship by We Are Parable and Channel 4, Ugas boasts scripts that have shone in BAFTA and Oscar-qualifying festivals.

Fresh off collaborating with Jayson Rothwell [Polar] on an interactive film, we caught up with AR to discuss his intriguing new project, “Monsters Never Die” …

Please introduce yourself …

I am a Somali born writer/director based in Birmingham. I was part of We Are Parable’s Momentum 2022 where I was mentored by ITV’s Development Editor for Comedy and Drama. I’ve written several screenplays that have reached BAFTA and Oscar qualifying festivals. Recently I was announced as the runner up in the prestigious Raindance Festival for one of my screenplays.

Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence.

Rise.

What started you on your current career path?

I’ve always wanted to write, having been a fan of literature. I did not know filmmaking was a viable option but when I saw several Black filmmakers in the UK make moves and get their work on TV and cinemas, I knew times had changed.

Tell us about your latest project – Monsters Never Die

Monsters Never Die is a film about a young gang member who decides to exact revenge against the man who abused him in prison. It’s a film that analyses what it means to be a man in an environment that does not accept weakness. An environment where being a victim is worse than being a predator. Where any violation is met with retaliation. But how can you retaliate for something you refuse to accept? Something you deny? Monsters Never Die is a film that explores victimhood, abuse and other multilayered topics while grounded in a fast moving thriller.

Omar Woodburn – Monsters Never Die

What’s your role on Monsters Never Die?

I am the Director/Writer of the project and have also produced it.

How did it come about?

I was always interested in the way men cope with trauma and how society shuns any male weakness. Especially in urban communities where toughness is the standard. I wished to explore this while still setting it in a genre piece [a revenge flick].

Highs, lows, solutions …

Working with a great cast and crew was a high. The only low was having to film on a beach in freezing conditions, majority of the scenes we shot did not even make the final cut.

What is your current plan b?

There is no Plan B.

What are you watching right now?

I just finished watching Top Boy and am currently re-watching Edge of Tomorrow, such an underrated Cruise flick.

What are you reading?

I’m reading one of my friends’ screenplay, I wish I could mention what and who but they would kill me.

What are you listening to?

Lil Macks – It’s Up.

Junior Afolabi Salokun – Monsters Never Die

What’s the last thing you saw on stage?

Rapsody [by Corey Weekes]

What’s on your bucket list?

Going to Japan.

Where is your happy place?

Away from humanity.

Celebrate someone else …

Kano, such a great actor, I’m glad he’s pursuing other projects as I believe him to be one of the best actors this Island has produced.

Celebrate yourself …

I just placed second in Raindance, it’s not first but it’s better than nothing.

Whose footsteps are you following in?

My future self’s footsteps.

What’s next?

I’m writing several feature films with the aim of getting an agent while developing short form projects to hone my directing skills.

Where can we see you?

You can watch my film here: https://youtu.be/oy-FKWrPWwo?si=Ir8jREdtSCUdGgCA

What’s your socials?

@arugasuk on all platforms.

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