An upcoming documentary feature with the Sundance stamp on it (selected for the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Edit and Story Lab 2014, Creative Producing Summit 2013, and was a Sundance Documentary Film grant recipient), from director George Amponsah, described as a hybrid observational work of non-fiction, previously-titled “Down By Law,” it’ll make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival under the name “The Hard Stop.”
The very timely film centers on Mark Duggan, a young black man who was killed by armed police in London, on August 4, 2011 – an event regarded as the spark that set the London riots in motion later that year. Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old, was shot and killed by police in Tottenham, North London. The Metropolitan Police stated that officers were attempting to arrest Duggan on suspicion of planning an attack, and that he was in possession of a handgun. Duggan died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The circumstances of Duggan’s killing resulted in public protests in Tottenham which, fueled by poverty and racial tension, led to conflict with police and escalated into riots across London and other English cities.
The official story of Duggan’s death has undergone numerous changes, drawing criticism and suspicion from Duggan’s family, residents of Tottenham, and other supporters. These critics accuse police of misconduct and of failing to cooperate with investigating Duggan’s death. Shortcomings in police response have also been blamed for stoking the riots, and for fueling ongoing discontent.
Amponsah’s film explores the life and death of Mark Duggan, as well as the Tottenham riots of 2011 that would follow.
The project is also supported by the BFI Film Fund, following a pitching session 2 years, held at and in partnership with the UK’s leading documentary festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest.