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LONDON — Singer, performer and actor Ben Drew, recently signed to star in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of cult TV cop show The Sweeney, has drawn a U.K. distribution deal for his directorial debut, ill Manors.
Also known as singer and rapper Plan B, Drew’s first stint behind the camera will be distributed by U.K. indie Revolver Entertainment.
Drew’s movie stars Riz Ahmed (Four Lions) and Natalie Press (My Summer of Love) and is currently in postproduction.
Billed as a multicharacter story set against the tough streets of Forest Gate, East London, ill Manors details the stories of five people as they survive on the streets and their lives intersect.
Drew’s debut is produced under Microwave, the micro-budget feature film fund bankrolled by Film London and BBC Films, with support from Skillset and the National Lottery through the U.K. Film Council.
Drew is best knownfor his music career — with a No. 1 hit album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks — but has been working on his film career both in front of and behind the camera for many years.
As an actor, he has appeared in Adulthood and 22.214.171.124 and starred opposite Michael Caine in Harry Brown.
Drew likened making a low-budget movie to being the underdog in a boxing match.
“The experience I’ve gained from making a feature film on such asmall budget was invaluable … holding punches against the ropes and just having to hang in there, but I still loved every minute of it,” Drew said.
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