Bim Ajadi + Jonzi D’s Deaf Hip Hop Drama HERE/NOT HERE Is Set To Premiere On Film4 and Together TV On May 11
Directed by Bim Ajadi
Written by Jonzi D
HIP HOP DRAMA HERE/NOT HERE BRINGING BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE, VISUAL VERNACULAR (AN EXPRESSIVE AND ARTISTIC FORM OF SIGN LANGUAGE STORYTELLING), FOOTBALL AND KRUMP TOGETHER FOR DEAF AND HEARING AUDIENCES TO PREMIERE ON FILM4, BSL ZONE AND TOGETHER TV ON MONDAY 11 MAY 2020
COMMISSIONED BY THE BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE BROADCASTING TRUST HERE/NOT HERE IS DIRECTED BY DEAF FILM-MAKER BIM AJADI, WRITTEN BY JONZI D AND FEATURES A DEAF AND HEARING CAST
BEHIND THE SCENES DOCUMENTARY LOOK HERE/NOT HERE FEATURING INTERVIEWS WITH THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM WILL AIR THE FOLLOWING WEEK ON MONDAY 18 MAY
HERE/NOT HERE, a brand new British, Deaf hip hop drama exploring British Sign Language, Krump street dance, football and Visual Vernacular – the choreographed and poetic form of sign language - will have its TV premiere on Film4 and Together TV on Monday 11 May and will also be hosted online on BSL Zone where it will remain available to watch following the broadcast.
HERE/NOT HERE brings together a diverse creative team and company from Deaf and hearing communities and is directed by award-winning film-maker and Deaf artist Bim Ajadi whose recent works include docu-drama Dot and short film 4. Written by Jonzi D, Artistic Director of the annual hip hop dance and theatre festival Breakin’ Convention, the film is a unique collaboration with the film’s professional and non-professional, Deaf and hearing cast. The music is composed and produced by Torben Lars Sylvest a long-time collaborator of Olivier Award-winning choreographer Botis Seva.
HERE/NOT HERE is an urban, funny and thought provoking hip hop drama film which sees three rival groups - Deaf VVers, footballers and Krumpers - clash over who should use an abandoned warehouse space. Despite their differences, they find and inspire a common language through movement to communicate, collaborate and come together.
As Director Bim Ajadi said: “HERE/NOT HERE is about fear of invasion of a space. The message of this film is not to be too quick to judge strangers, once you’ve crossed that line in getting to know a person more, you might be surprised by how much you have in common, how you’ve learned something new, how much you feel valued. This is about being open-minded and trying to accept and appreciate new and different people.”
Complementary to the film, a special behind the scenes documentary titled LOOK HERE/NOT HERE, directed by Andrew Gillman, will see Director Bim Ajadi and Writer Jonzi D discuss the characters, narrative, themes and the making of the new music drama.
HERE/NOT HERE will be available to see on Monday 11 May on Film4 at 8am (pre-watershed version), Together TV at 7pm (pre-watershed version) and 10pm (post-watershed version), and on BSL Zone from 8.30am where it will remain available online. LOOK HERE/NOT HERE will air the following week on Monday 18 May on Film4 at 8am, BSL Zone online from 8.30am and Together TV at 7pm and 10pm.
The project features a company of both established and first-time BAME actors, dancers and Visual Vernacular performers. The principal cast features: Nadeem Islam, Catrina Nisbett, Theophillus ‘Godson’ Oloyade and Ryan Pendley.
Bim Ajadi (Director) is an award-winning film-maker from London. He co-directed Look Up for the opening of the 2012 London Paralympics Ceremony (Channel 4) and directed and edited I Believe a music video for Zebra Uno, which won Best Music Video and Best Editor at the CKF International Film Festival. Other film credits include 4 (BSLBT), and, more recently, Dot a docu-drama for BSLBT, as well as an online commercial with NFTS alumni. Bim is profoundly deaf, which gives him a unique visual perspective.
Jonzi D (Writer) is an MC, dancer, spoken word artist and director, Jonzi D is the foremost advocate for hip hop who has changed the profile and influenced the development of the UK British hip hop dance and theatre scene over the last two decades. Since founding Breakin’ Convention in 2004 Jonzi has triumphed in raising the profile and giving a platform to hip hop disciplines, which has gained worldwide recognition as being at the vanguard of the development of the art form. Through professional development projects Open Art Surgery and Back to the Lab, Jonzi has supported hundreds of hip hop dance and rap/poetry artists on their journey to creating theatre.
His critically acclaimed works include 1995‘s Lyrikal Fearta, 1999’s Aeroplane Man, 2006’s TAG… Just Writing My Name, 2009’s Markus the Sadist and 2013’s The Letter: To Be Or To MBE? Jonzi has been featured in HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, had his short films Silence da Bitchin’ & Aeroplane Man screened on Channel 4, toured his work extensively all over the world and delivered his own TED Talk about the influence and evolution of hip hop culture.
Torben Lars Sylvest (Composer) is a music producer and sound designer based in London. A long-time collaborator of Olivier Award winning choreographer Botis Seva (Far From The Norm), Torben has been deeply involved in Hip Hop dance theatre in the UK over the last five years. His collaborations with artists such as Ivan Blackstock, Kwame Asafo-Adjei among many more have established him as a leading figure in the scene. Other collaborators include the critically acclaimed James Cousins and the internationally renowned Scottish Dance Theatre.
Andrew Gillman (Director and Producer - LOOK HERE/NOT HERE). Having begun his career as a film editor in commercials and music videos, Andrew became a commercials director before splitting his time between advertising and broadcast television. His significant television comedy credits include many groundbreaking, landmark series, Network 7, The Day Today and Peter Kay’s first TV series, That Peter Kay Thing. As a producer, he is responsible for a wide range of productions from music to dance and drama. He is also a visiting tutor at the National Film & Television School.
Commissioned by the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust
Produced by Anne Beresford and Andrew Gillman
Directed by Bim Ajadi
Written by Jonzi D
Film4: Monday 11 May, 8am (pre-watershed version)
BSL Zone - Monday 11 May, available from 8.30am
Together TV: Monday 11 May 7pm (pre-watershed version) & 10pm (post-watershed version)
LOOK HERE/NOT HERE
Directed by Andrew Gillman
Film4: Monday 18 May, 8am
BSL Zone - Monday 18 May, available from 8.30am
Together TV: Monday 18 May, 7pm & 10pm
HERE/ NOT HERE PREMIERES ON FILM4, BSL ZONE AND TOGETHER TV ON MONDAY MAY 11
ANNE BERESFORD – PRODUCER
Anne Beresford is an independent producer working in film and television. Her films often involve international collaborations and co-productions, collaborating with both established and emerging talents. Much of her work is at the intersection of film, dance, music and drama.
As well as her work on HERE/NOT HERE and LOOK HERE/NOT HERE for British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust, her recent credits include IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE: ARTEMISIA ON TRIAL (BBC/The Space). Forthcoming releases include the short drama THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS starring Sian Phillips and the international drama series COLD COURAGE (Viaplay/Lionsgate) for which she was UK producer. She is in formal development on the musical feature film CHUCK CHUCK BABY for Ffilm Cymru.
Anne has produced many award-winning dance films for UK and international broadcasters including most recently SPAGHETTI JUNCTION AND ANTARCTICA: THE FIRST DANCE, both with Corey Baker and many RANDOM ACTS and similar for Channel 4. Her stage-to-screen credits include the landmark PETER GRIMES ON ALDEBURGH BEACH, MAXINE PEAKE AS HAMLET, THE RAILWAY CHILDREN and Talawa Theatre’s KING LEAR. She was the producer of OWEN WINGRAVE, described by The Telegraph as ‘probably the best opera film ever’ and of the feature film MOUTH TO MOUTH starring Ellen Page.
ARTEMISIA FILMS LTD – PRODUCTION COMPANY
Artemisia Films enjoys collaborating with interesting people on interesting films wherever they are based in the world and on whatever size of project. As well as their work on HERE/NOT HERE and LOOK HERE/NOT HERE they have recently produced the film version of IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE, IT’S TRUE: ARTEMISIA ON TRIAL (BBC/Space) and the short drama THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS directed by Morgane Polanski. They are currently in formal development on the feature film CHUCK CHUCK BABY for Ffilm Cymru Wales.
BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE BROADCASTING TRUST - COMMISSIONER
The British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT) commissions television programmes made in British Sign Language. BSLBT was set up in 2008 to provide an alternative way for commercial broadcasters to provide signed content for the Deaf audience. The programmes are shown on Film4 and Together TV as well as being freely available on the BSL Zone player and the BSL Zone app. The BSL Zone is known and appreciated by Deaf communities in the UK and all around the world.