Starcross Entertainment + Central City Media Set To Release SKINS Writer & Industry Vet Benjamin Bond’s THE DRIFTERS This April
Starcross Entertainment and Central City Media area thrilled to announce the release of their new feature drama THE DRIFTERS in virtual cinemas from 3rd April and on demand in the UK from 5th April 2021 and in the US on SVOD streamer Urbanflix.
With its World Premiere at Sao Paulo International Film Festival, THE DRIFTERS is written and directed by veteran screenwriter and producer Benjamin Bond (Skins, Killing Bono), starring Lucie Bourdeu (En Famille, Tout ce Qui Brill) and rising UK star Jonathan Ajayi (Wonder Woman 1984, Noughts & Crosses, BIFA longlisted), THE DRIFTERS is a love story about identity and place in a post-Brexit United Kingdom.
Koffee, an African migrant, and Fanny, a French waitress, are two lost souls who attempt to find home in one another and escape the labels that inevitably leave them homeless.
THE DRIFTERS is produced by BAFTA award-winning producer and development executive Iona Sweeney (Lizard Girl, Found), and executive produced by Andy Brunskill (Jet Trash, Lilting, Homebound), Elinor Day (East Is East, Charlotte Gray, The Warrior, Killing Me Softly, Killing Eve), Paul Ashton (Calibre, Adult Life Skills, Shifty, Westwood), Evan Leighton-Davis (Sweetheart), Ben Thompson (Brooklands) and Patrick Milling-Smith (Wild Geese, Becket).
THE DRIFTERS is Benjamin Bond’s directorial debut, and the story has a long personal history for him. He explains, “Ten years ago, even before the migration crisis dominated the political and media landscape in Europe, I was increasingly interested in ideas around freedom of movement,” he says.
“I had spent some time in Senegal working on the music concert ‘Africa Live’ for PBS. I met a lot of West African musicians and spoke to a lot of local people, there were so many young people leaving Africa on foot. That’s a big story now but it wasn’t then. I became interested in the disparity between where I could go and what I could do versus people who couldn’t even leave their countries.”
So a few years ago, he picked up the issue again from a different angle “What if one of these adventurers had made it all the way to the UK? How would their life look and what if we could tell that story without them having any psychological baggage, they were just getting on with it. Would that be refreshing? And let’s say they fell in love with someone who was free to go where they wanted. That was the germ of THE DRIFTERS."
THE DRIFTERS will be released in virtual UK cinemas from 3rd April and on demand from 5th April. It will be released in the US on SVOD streamer Urbanflix and international sales by Media Luna.
Find THE DRIFTERS on Facebook: @DriftersMovie, Twitter: @2021Drifters and Instagram: @driftersmovie.
About Starcross Entertainment
Launched in 2018, Starcross creates the very best in international broadcast properties. With BAFTA-winning writers and producers in house, Starcross Entertainment has a diverse production slate that encompasses multiple genres. Recent productions include THE DRIFTERS and THE HUNGRY. Future projects include WHISKY WARS (director Marc Foster ‘World War Z’), BIG MAN (writer / director Ben Bond), BACKWARDS (writer / director Ben Bond) and historical epic SALADIN (show-runner Bill Macdonald ‘Rome’).
BENJAMIN BOND, WRITER/DIRECTOR
Bond started out producing DJs Pete Tong and Trevor Nelson for BBC Radio 1 working with recording artists such as Sean Combs, Dr. Dre and Mary J Blige. He has since written for BAFTA winning youth TV drama series SKINS (Channel 4/Netflix) and the movie KILLING BONO for Paramount and directed some of the most successful commercials on TV for brands including Coca-Cola, Virgin Atlantic and Secret Escapes. As a writer and producer his films have been shown at Sundance, Toronto, London and Berlin and won numerous awards around the world including prizes at Rhode Island, Los Angeles Film Festival, Aesthetica and The Friars Club in New York. He is executive producer on THE HUNGRY (Toronto 2017) and SAY YOUR PRAYERS (2020). THE DRIFTERS is his feature directorial debut. His next film projects also as writer and director are horror features BACKWARDS and historical drama BIG MAN. For TV, Benjamin is the creator and writer of WHISKY WARS, an original TV series for Starcross and 2DUX2 with Marc Forster (dir. WORLD WAR Z) and Renee Wolfe; the co-creator of SALADIN, a historical TV series, with Bill Macdonald (creator and showrunner of ROME for HBO) and the creator and writer of BROOKLANDS developed with author Anthony Horowitz (JAMES BOND, ALEX RIDER, FOYLE’S WAR).
IONA SWEENEY, PRODUCER
Sweeney is a BAFTA-award-winning producer and development executive. She has recently worked across Starcross projects: THE DRIFTERS and SAY YOUR PRAYERS, a black comedy starring Derek Jacobi, Roger Allam and Anna Maxwell Martin, directed by Harry Michell.
Through Starcross, Iona has projects in development with Colin McLaren (THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON), Jon Brittain (THE CROWN), Luke Barnes (ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING), and Daisy Aitkens (YOU, ME AND HIM).
Prior to Starcross, Sweeney ran the film and television development slate at Feelgood Fiction with projects including PORTERS, THE EICHMANN SHOW, and THE BRIDGE TO KONO. She also produced BAFTA-nominated FOUND and Japan Jury Prize and BAFTA-winning LIZARD GIRL (dir. Lynsey Miller).
Brunskill runs SUMS Film & Media, a company focused on feature films and a pioneering new form of interactive episodic. Past productions include JET TRASH, LILTING, GULLY and THE HUNGRY. Upcoming releases include queer romantic comedy SWEETHEART from director Marley Morrison which will premiere at Glasgow Film Festival in February and psychological chiller HOMEBOUND from director Sebastian Godwin.
Prior to SUMS Andy worked at Ruby Films as Assistant to Alison Owen and then Development Executive across films such as THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, TAMARA DREWE, THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, JANE EYRE, SAVING MR BANKS, BRICK LANE and the multi-Emmy winning TEMPLE GRANDIN.
Brunskill was named as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow in 2015 and a Screen International Future Leader in 2018. SUMS was listed as a Screen Company “One to Watch” in 2018.
ELINOR DAY, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Elinor Day began her career as a BBC script editor, working with David Thompson at BBC Films. While at the BBC, she produced five films: LOVED UP (Peter Cattaneo, Ol Parker), IN YOUR DREAMS, KILLING ME SOFTLY, THE PERFECT BLUE and FACE (Ronan Bennett, Antonia Bird).
In 1998 Day joined FilmFour as Deputy Head of Production. Over five years, she was commissioner and executive producer of more than a dozen features including EAST IS EAST (Ayub Khan Din, Damien O’Donnell), GANGSTER NO 1 (Mellis & Scinto, Paul McGuigan), LATE NIGHT SHOPPING, CHARLOTTE GRAY (Jeremy Brock), JUMP TOMORROW (Joel Hopkins) and THE WARRIOR (Asif Kapadia).
In April 2005 Day joined Darlow Smithson as Head of Film, working on theatrical documentaries and drama projects. In 2007 she produced IMPACT EARTH (Dominic Morgan and Matt Harvey, directed by Keith Boak), CLAPHAM JUNCTION (Kevin Elyot, directed by Adrian Shergold) and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (Deborah Moggach, directed by Jon Jones), and in 2008 she produced U BE DEAD (Gwyneth Hughes, directed by Jamie Payne). Whilst at Darlow, Day also executive produced the award-winning documentary THRILLER IN MANILA (directed by John Dower) and MICRO MEN, written by Tony Saint and directed by Saul Metzstein.
For TV Day series produced series four of SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL for Tiger Aspect / ITV2. WHITE HEAT by Paula Milne (directed by John Alexander) for BBC 2 / ITV Studios. She is currently series producer on the global hit KILLING EVE (series 2).
PAUL ASHTON, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Ashton is Head of Film at Creative England and executive producer on features including BIFA-winning ADULT LIFE SKILLS, BAFTA- winning CALIBRE, and THE DRIFTERS. He has developed numerous other features, including SHIFTY, THE RITUAL, WESTWOOD and ENGLAND IS MINE. His book THE CALLING CARD SCRIPT is published by Bloomsbury.
BEN THOMPSON, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Co-founder of Starcross Entertainment, Thompson has spent the last 20 years working for various media organisations. Over the last year he has been helping to establish the Starcross Capital Fund whilst setting up Starcross Entertainment. A creative producer in his own right, Thompson is the co-creator of BROOKLANDS, a returning period drama developed with Anthony Horowitz (FOYLE’S WAR) and Jill Green at Eleventh Hour Films for ITV1 and GAMERS with executive producer Jason Crain (WONDER WOMAN 1984).
PATRICK MILLING-SMITH, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Patrick Milling-Smith is a commercial, theatre, film, immersive media and television producer who is co-founder/managing partner of international production company Smuggler, Ad Age’s 2017 production company of the year, and co-founder of leading virtual reality experience studio, DIVISION7. Notable projects include the recently awarded Emmy for best commercial work with John Malkovich and SquareSpace; the international hit and 8 x Tony Award Winning Musical ONCE, festival favorite feature film GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLY, hit Broadway show SEMINAR starring Alan Rickman and extended by Jeff Goldblum, a mixed reality experience for FX’s Legion which premiered at San Diego’s Comic-Con, and the stage adaptation of Robert Evans memoir THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE, written and directed by Simon McBurney. Upcoming film projects include WILD GEESE and BECKET, adapted by Academy Award winner William Monahan (THE DEPARTED, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN).