Last night I attended the official launch of British actor Aml Ameen’s film and television production company, AmeenDream Entertainment held at UK film body headquarters BAFTA. (Yeah that’s right “haters” Miss Mad News was swanning around BAFTA headquarters! Deal with it! *sarcasm*.
After starring in the hit film Kidulthood,TV drama The Bill and other TV/stage projects, Aml set up production company AmeenDream in 2009 ‘with a clear mission to deliver stories that entertain, provoke thought and inspire, as well as providing alternative representations of youth and the urban community in the UK’.
The three films showcased last night, The Pick Up, Special Delivery and Drink, Drugs & KFC, were each impressive pieces of work. Special Delivery a story about a post woman who embarks on a strange yet sensual love affair was beautifully shot and Drink, Drugs and KFC a story about a group of friends growing up in London, starring a fresh bunch of talented young black-British actors was both very funny and poignant at times.
As for The Pick Up (Aml’s debut short film) a film about friends attempting to pick up women in a trendy London nightclub, I remember Aml tweeting about organising rehearsals for this project over a year ago and then going on to release the trailer on YouTube months later. Now having watched the entire short, I must say that it was much better than I thought it would be.
The quality of acting displayed in each short film also surprised me. I’ve noticed over the years that when it comes to casting for “Urban” films a lot of roles are given to random individuals who lack acting ability (which is glaringly obvious) and therefore have no business appearing on the silver screen. But thankfully this is not the case when it comes to these projects. The young cast featured have great potential and get the Mad News thumbs up.
I have been following Aml’s career since he left The Bill and followed the developments of his production company (via Twitter) since its inception simply because,
1) I like to keep you all up to date with what’s going on within UK culture and feel I have a duty to keep a close eye on what many of our Black British stars are up to career wise.
2) I’m just very nosey.
It was good seeing a suited and booted Aml on the BAFTA stage talking passionately about his work, his team, students and hopes for the future in front of his peers, colleagues, friends, family, students and nobodies like myself. He has achieved a lot in a relatively short space of time and I wish him continued success.
More information about the three short films.
The Pick Up – A fast-paced comical drama which catapults the audience straight into the heart of London nighlife. It serves as a pilot for a potential television series. The first six episodes of the series are currently being written with a principal cast of British actors from multicultural backgrounds.
Special Delivery – A story of a post woman (Kamara Bacchus) who is bored of her life, trapped in a mundane routine. When the possibility of a new route arises, it changes her path and she finds herself going down a road of adventure and embarking on an unusual love affair. It is written and stars Kamara Bacchus (Dr Who, The Bill), and is directed by Geoff Searle (Madness in the First Degree). This is an artsy piece shot with a strong emphasis on capturing beautiful London locations.
Drink, Drugs and KFC – has been shot as a short cinematic piece, with plans to extend it into full feature length big screen movie later on. Written by Aml, the script was inspired by films he grew up watching such as The Sandlot, The Goonies and House Party, which reflect the adventure of growing up, in this case in London, and including the trials, tribulations, bravado and camaraderie that come with that.
Like actor Idris Elba before him Aml has relocated to Los Angeles and now stars in US drama Harry’s Law alongside Oscar-winning actress Kathy Bates. The show is currently being broadcast in the US on NBC, and there are plans to air the show here later on in the year.