Up and Comer to Watch: MJ Delaney

Up and Comer to Watch: MJ Delaney

MJ Delaney came to our attention as the precocious directing talent behind a parody of Alicia Key’s New York State of Mind – the young filmmaker (25) scored
over 2 million hits for a pop-up YouTube video version titled Newport State of Mind, celebrating the Welsh town that’s so often overlooked by the
R & B scene.

Directing commercials and super-shorts, MJ joined Channel 4’s “Coming Up” programme for aspiring film talent. And having secured support and producers’
backing in the shape of Damian Jones’ DJ Films and Pinewood Films, Delaney collaborated with playwright Rachel Hirons on her debut feature film, Powder Room. Yesterday it was announced that the film will be distributed in the UK by Vertigo Films and worldwide rights have been bought by
Universal’s home entertainment division.

In an article in the Guardian last year, MJ claimed to work with
an almost entirely female crew. Although it would be a stretch to say that Powder Room‘s crew is almost entirely female, there is a much higher
proportion of women involved than we’re used to seeing, including all of the credited writers, a producer, line producer and myriad technicians.
Additionally, the film’s cast includes some of the UK’s foremost young, female talent — Sheridan Smith, Jaime Winstone, Oona Chaplin and Kate Nash.

Mark your diaries — release date in the UK is set for 29th November.

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What's so genius about a parody ref-ing an town that nobody — outside of, er, the citizens of Newport — cares about? Sorry, but if the cleverness factor lies in recontextualizing Jay for the most obscure town around possible, and getting a laugh from locals, then let me get someone in Miryang, South Korea to next pen a rap about their hilarious magpies and livestock, and set it to a quirky iMovie template.

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