While the full lineup hasn't been unveiled, Andre Royo's coming of age drama Calloused Hands will open the 2013 British Urban Film Festival, which runs September 5-9.
Calloused Hands was also announced in the Film London selection of titles screening at the 2013 London UK Film Focus (LUFF) taking place June 24-27, 2013.
To recap, Hands is described as a gritty and hard-hitting drama telling the story of Josh, a 12-year-old mixed race boy growing up in Miami who shows promise as a baseball player. He neglected by his mother, and is abused by her boyfriend Byrd. He manages to forge his own path when his estranged grandfather insists he study for his Bar Mitzvah.
Full press release below:
Organisers of the British Urban Film Festival have today announced that ‘Calloused Hands’ will be the opening feature film for its’ annual showpiece later this summer. The film, made by 31-year-old director Jesse Quinones, will be making its international premiere at the festival, following its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival, and its selection to Film London's LUFF Breakthrough Strand.
Calloused Hands stars Andre Royo from HBO’s ‘The Wire’ and centres on a 12-year-old mixed race boy from Miami (Luca Oriel) with aspirations to be a baseball player. He is abused by his mother’s boyfriend Byrd (played by Royo), and neglected by his mother Debbie (Daisy Haggard). He manages to forge his own path in life when his long-lost grandfather Solomon (Hans Howes) insists he study for his Bar Mitzvah.
Andre is also one of the producers on the project. “What attracted me to Calloused Hands first and foremost was the passion and fearlessness Jesse expressed about the story,” Andre said. “It takes great courage to open up about ones own childhood and the abuse they suffered. It seemed like a therapeutic and theatrical experience not only for Jesse, but also for myself as a father. It was exactly what we needed at that moment in time.”
It’s also been announced today that ‘Hoorah’, the latest short film directed by actor Aml Ameen will be premiering as the curtain raiser to ‘Calloused Hands’ on the opening night of the festival, to be staged at Odeon West End in Leicester Square on Friday 6 September. The gala screening marks a busy end to the year for the former ‘Kidulthood’ star who is also to feature in upcoming titles ‘The Butler’, ‘The Maze Runner’ and ‘Evidence’.
BUFF 2013 starts with a day of free events at broadcaster Channel 4 on Thursday 5 September including panel discussions on film distribution and entrepreneurship plus the inaugural BUFF live script readings.
Commenting on today’s announcements, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe, director of the British Urban Film Festival said: “We’re excited to give audiences the first opportunity to experience the changing face of urban independent cinema from the heart of London’s West End. Year on year, the festival strives to bring audiences the films that they deserve which continue to embrace and champion diversity in all its forms”.
Full details about this year’s festival programme will be unveiled at a press conference at Channel 4 in early July. Tickets go on sale later next month.