Ben Whishaw Signs For Micro-Budget British Drama

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LONDON – Ben Whishaw, who played James Bond gadget maestro Q in Skyfall, is back to low-tech filmmaking with a bang.

Whishaw leads a cast opposite Cheng Pei Pei (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), Peter Bowles, Morven Christie and Andrew Leung in writer/director Hong Khaou's Lilting.

The project is about people falling in love without a common language and details the story of a Chinese mother (Pei Pei) as she grieves for her son (Leung) following his untimely death.

He was her eyes and ears in the U.K., their adopted country, and without him she is stranded. The only person left is his lover (Whishaw) – who she knows only as his roommate.

Together they are forced to overcome their differences and unite in sorrow whilst struggling against the absence of a shared language. The movie is backed by FilmLondon's ultra-low budget filmmaking funding strand Microwave, a cashpool that has previously birthed iLL Manors, British rapper Ben Drew's directorial debut.

Funded by Microwave in association with BBC Films additional backing comes from production companies Stink Films and Andy Brunskill’s recently launched SUMS Film and Media Ltd., supported by financier/producer Bob & Co.

Produced by Dominic Buchanan, writer/director Khaou will be mentored by Brit filmmaker Michael Winterbottom as part of the Microwave system while Buchanan will be advised by Ken Marshall, the producer of London to Brighton, Filth and Song for Marion.

It is the eighth feature from Film London Microwave.

Lilting marks Khaou’s feature debut after seven years at London-based production banner Peccadillo Pictures, and three short films, all of which were funded by Film London’s various shorts schemes.

Khaou, born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia before growing up in Vietnam, said: "This film is very close to my heart. The support I’ve had through the mentors has been intelligent, insightful and imaginative. There was a genuine, considered care towards helping me anchor my voice and ideas."

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: "It is fantastic to have yet another film going into production on the Microwave slate and the high caliber cast."

Microwave films are produced for budgets of up to £120,000 ($194,000).

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