Iggy Talks … Area Boy

Drawing from his rich experiences and a passion for storytelling, Iggy London’s latest project, Area Boy is his short film, developed at Berlinale Talents.

Starring Joshua Cameron as Eli a teenager navigating self-identity amidst conflicts between his friends, family and religion. Starring a remarkable cast also including Malcolm Kamulete and Jolade Obasola, this narrative, rooted in Iggy’s explorations of belonging and identity, highlighting his commitment to bringing complex, relatable characters to the screen we spoke to him to find out more about the inspiration behind Area Boy

Please introduce yourself
My name is Iggy and I’m a filmmaker, artist and writer. After years of practising law and with a deep love of poetry – spoken and visual – I decided to pursue filmmaking and created the breakthrough short Velvet (2018). Drawn to capture stories that exist on the margins of society, Velvet paints a poetic and painful picture of inner-city life, death and above all hope. Across commercials, short films or music videos, I’ve tried to capture the beauty in universal truths that bind us to a sense of shared experience and humanity. Drawing out the nuance and authenticity of everyday life in a visually striking style. Passionate about creating work across different mediums, in early 2023, I wrote and edited a book, titled Mandem, including incredible writers such as Jordan Stephens, Sope Soetan, Phil Samba and Jeffrey Boakye, to name a few. I was born and raised in Newham, East London and I’m originally from Nigeria.

Describe your life right now in a word or one sentence …
Naija boy just trying to make work that will last a lifetime.”

Area Boy

Tell us about your latest project Area Boy …
Area Boy is a poetic coming-of-age story about an aimless teenager, Eli, who has moved to the outer edges of a provincial town with his mother. As he settles in, he tries to escape the bleakness of life and navigating questions of self-identity, by balancing his time between his delinquent friends and the church community. Torn between two worlds, Eli must find himself and embrace who he truly is. It tackles the conflict that comes with honouring the rules of a person’s chosen religion and navigating life and its many pitfalls and temptations whilst trying to have fun and evolve. A lot to deal with when you’re young and black. At the heart of it lies a strong desire to challenge the idea of holy or not holy; wrong or right. I want to create worlds which hold a mirror up to society and create empathy through storytelling, capturing life as it happens rather than exaggerated ideas of reality. The dynamic between mother and son is an extremely interesting one. Within typical African cultures, the children are rarely taught to challenge their parent’s ideologies – it is considered disobedience. Area Boys seeks to showcase a young man who is forced to consider what he truly believes for himself versus conforming to the life his mother wants for him. Without resorting to clichés or caricatures the film watches patiently, gently, as Eli struggles to find his specific path in life. Our audience will see how it unfolds the way life does.

What’s your role on it?

How Area Boy come to exist?
The film is inspired by my experience in the midlands and north England while I was studying there. There was something incredibly beautiful yet sad about some of the places and people that I visited; so much so that I wanted to investigate further. Whilst many short films are set in London and overly glamorise the capital, I wanted to capture that tonal quality of an existence that falls out of city life, which audiences rarely see.

Area Boy

Highs, lows, solutions …
The highlight was being able to work with such an incredible cast. Working with Joshua Cameron, who played Eli, was great. He was able to provide such a sensibility to the character that wasn’t so obvious in the script. Malcolm Kamulete is also an incredible actor. We wanted Area Boy to feel very distinct – a stylised but truthful approach – and it couldn’t have been without such an incredible crew. The lowlight was probably not being able to shoot for more than four days. It was a dream project; shooting on 16mm with Zeiss High Speeds, large cast and many different locations. I would have loved to have more time on set. There weren’t really any obstacles, which I’m super happy about.

You edited and contributed to the anthology book of short stories and poetry Mandem – what’s happening post-publishing… Do you plan to do more books?
I definitely plan to do more books, right after I start finishing these scripts. I start but never finish them.


If not this, then what?
I would have been an actor or worked in musical theatre.

What are you watching right now?
Mr and Mrs Smith on Amazon Prime. It’s insane.

What are you reading right now?
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

What are you listening to right now?
Women’s Touch by Yussef Dayes ft. Jamilah Barry

The last thing you saw on stage?
Lennie James and Paapa Essiedu in, A Number.

What’s on your bucket list?
To direct a music video/art film for Erkyah Badu.

Where’s your happy place?
At home.

Celebrate someone else …
Celebrating Adjani Salmon for bagging a second series of Dreaming Whilst Black.

Celebrate yourself …
Area Boy made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which is low-key wild.

Whose footsteps are you following in?
Donald Glover’s footsteps.

What’s Next?
I’m currently writing a new film project, which I’m excited to share.

Where can we find you?
Instagram: @iggylondon
Twitter: @iggyldn
Website: www.iggylondon.com

Where can we see Area Boy?
Coming soon to Nowness


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