Gone Too Far, a feature film project written by Bola Agbaje, and directed by Destiny Ekaragha (both Nigerian Brits) is a project we first alerted you to over 2 years ago, when it was selected as one of 12 projects shortlisted for Film London’s 4-day boot camp, backed by BBC Films, and includes seminars, masterclasses and mentoring from established directors, writers and producers.
Afterward, the filmmaker teams were given an extended development period, to eventually later pitch their projects to a greenlight panel. After that, 6 of the 12 feature projects were indeed greenlit in February 2012, with budgets of up to £120,000, or about $186,000.
Skip ahead a year later, to news that the British Film Institute (via its BFI Film Fund’s new initiative that’s intent on supporting new voices and emerging filmmakers) and Poisson Rouge Pictures had teamed to finance Gone Too Far, a coming of age comedy based in Peckham, which is an adaptation of Agbaje’s Olivier Award winning play, about two brothers in a run-down part of South London.
The film, which is now complete another year later, and is making its world premiere at the 57th BFI London Film Festival (which kicked off yesterday), is Destiny Ekaragha’s feature-length directorial debut.
Its next screening takes place on the 18th. The festival itself runs from October 9 to 20.
Ekaragha’s name especially should be familiar to long-time S&A readers, as we’ve featured 2 of her short films – A Bloody Muddle and Tight Jeans – on the site over the years.
The longer synopsis for Gone Too Far reads:
GONE TOO FAR is a brilliantly funny, sharp and observant coming-of-age comedy in the tradition of The Breakfast Club and Bend it Like Beckham with a strong urban identity in the vein of La Haine and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. It’s also an incredibly original and exciting representation of black Britain for the screen; a wonderful opportunity to portray a vibrant group in a way that has never been done before. Set on a small up-beat estate in Peckham, in the heart of the Afro-Carribean community, the film follows a group of kids (led by two estranged teenage brothers meeting for the first time – Yemi and his older brother Ikudayisi, who’s arriving from Nigeria) over a single day as they fight to make their dreams comes true. As the Notting Hill Carnival beats away in NW London, this group of kids are having their own carnival in SE15.
The film features a young cast of up and coming actors, with Malachi Kirby (My Brother The Devil) taking the role of Yemi. Kirby was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2011 Evening Standard Awards for his role in the play Mogadishu. Nigerian actor O.C. Ukeje, soon to be seen in Half of a Yellow Sun alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, plays Ikudayisi. Also appearing are Shanika Warren-Markland (Adulthood, 126.96.36.199) as Armani, the object of Yemi’s desire, and Adelayo Adedayo (Sket) as her best friend Paris. Nigerian actress Golda John, who will next be seen alongside Simon Pegg in A Fantastic Fear of Everything, plays Yemi and Ikudayisi’s mother.
“Bola has crafted a wonderfully witty screenplay while Destiny’s vibrant shorts ‘Tight Jeans’ and ‘In The Park’ really mark her out as a talent to watch… The two are a formidably talented combination,” said BFI Film Fund senior executive Lizzie Francke.
Gone Too Far is produced by Christopher Granier-Deferre of Poisson Rouge Pictures with Francke and Chris Collins, also from BFI, overseeing the project for the Film Fund.
Production happened over 4 weeks a year ago, and the film is now starting its film festival circuit travels. Maybe it’ll reach the USA, so we can check it out ourselves!
There’s no trailer yet, but scattered within the below new interview with director Ekaragha, you’ll find a few clips from the film, giving you a brief glimpse into its look and feel.