/, Interview, Production Stories, The Watch/The team behind ROCKS talks to Raising Films

The team behind ROCKS talks to Raising Films

ROCKS title branding

Ahead of the release of ROCKS in cinemas across the UK and Ireland this Friday 18 September Raising Films spoke to the creative team behind the film, with the interview conducted by Grace Barber Plentie.

We’re so grateful to Grace and the ROCKS team for finding the time to take part in this interview. Scroll down to access the filmed interview and in the meantime, here’s more about the film!

ROCKS is a film about the resilience, joy and spirit of girlhood. Uniquely crafted by a majority female creative team in collaboration with mostly first-time actors. ROCKS was written by Theresa Ikoko (winner of the Alfred Fagon award in 2015 for her play Girls) and Claire Wilson (Little Drummer Girl, Gangs of London, The Power), and directed by Sarah Gavron (Suffragette, Brick Lane) and associate director Anu Henriques. Produced by Faye Ward (Wild Rose, Stan & Ollie) and Ameenah Ayub Allen (Dark River, Ali and Ava), with casting by Lucy Pardee and associate Jessica Straker.

Starring Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, D’angelou Osei Kissiedu, Shaneigha-Monik Greyson, Ruby Stokes, Tawheda Begum, Anastasia Dymitrow, Afi Okaidja and Sarah Niles.

The film follows teenager Rocks (Bakray) who fears that she and her little brother Emmanuel (D’angelou Osei Kissiedu) will be forced apart if anyone finds out they are living alone. Rocks’ world is turned upside down when she returns from school to find her mum gone, having left some cash and a note offering little explanation except that she is sorry. Determined to stick with her brother and avoid being taken into care against all odds, Rocks leaves her home and hides in pockets of East London. As each day becomes tougher and her secret harder to hide, Rocks starts to push away those who love her and her friendship group begins to fracture. When the authorities finally catch up with her, there is really only one source of support for her to turn to: her friends. With the help of her friends, she evades the authorities and navigates the most defining days of her life.

You can find ROCKS on social here: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

“As a team, we have always felt passionate about the film’s collaborative nature being acknowledged and credited by all who write about it. The film’s story was authored by Theresa Ikoko, a young British Nigerian woman who co-wrote the script with Claire Wilson. In a unique process, our two writers, the young cast and many of the creative team collaborated on the making of ROCKS right from the outset and through to its completion. At a time when it has become unavoidably clearer that creatives of colour have been, and are, so often unacknowledged, this feels even more important now. As you can see from our synopsis for ROCKS, we speak of the collaboration rather than just referring solely to one director’s vision and attribute the way the film was made to that team endeavour. These are elements which we feel must come through in all that is written about the film, to do justice to the unique way it was made and the people who made it. We are grateful for all the support Rocks has received – thank you for reading this.” The ROCKS team

Grace Barber Plentie is a London-based freelance film writer and programmer with a focus on the works of Black women directors, representations of the fat body and, wherever possible, the oeuvre of Barbra Streisand.

Grace appears top left in the interview with Theresa Ikoko (story & writer) centre top, Sarah Gavron (director) top right. Bottom left is Claire Wilson (writer) and bottom right Anu Henriques (associate director).

Go to the ROCKS website
Go to the BRIDGE website

More about the ROCKS team

Sarah GavronDirector
Sarah Gavron’s cinema debut was BRICK LANE, which earned her a BAFTA nomination and The Alfred Dunhill Talent Award at the London Film Festival. Prior to this Sarah’s first full length drama, the Dennis Potter Award-winning THIS LITTLE LIFE for BBC TV, won her the TV BAFTA for Best New Director, both Royal Television Society and Women in Film and TV Awards for Best Newcomer, and a nomination for the Douglas Hickox award for Best Debut Director at the British Independent Film Awards. Sarah was then selected as one of Variety’s ten directors to watch at the Sundance International Film Festival. During and after her training at the NFTS, Sarah made many short films that have screened internationally and won major awards. Her feature documentary THE VILLAGE AT THE END OF THE WORLD (2013) was nominated for The Grierson Award and won the prestigious Margaret Mead Award. Sarah’s feature film SUFFRAGETTE (2015) for Ruby Films, Pathe, Film4 and the BFI, starred Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw, won two British Independent Film Awards and was nominated for four. Recently she directed some of Season 4 of TRANSPARENT for Amazon Studios.
Theresa IkokoWriter
Theresa Ikoko studied psychology at undergrad and a masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She has had a variety of roles in prisons, secure settings and social inclusion/community engagement projects. She now works in gangs and serious youth violence. Theresa’s first full length play, Girls, toured in 2016 and 2017, co-produced by Soho theatre, Hightide and Talawa Theatre Company. Girls won the Alfred Fagon Award 2015 and was joint winner of the George Devine award 2016. It was shortlisted, with judge’s commendation, at the Verity Bargate Award 2015. Theresa is now developing a number of films, TV and theatre projects.
Claire WilsonWriter
Claire Wilson is a versatile and prolific film and TV writer. Recent film assignments include, WHERE THERE’S DARKNESS (Lee Magiday / BFI), and Mexican set thriller SONORAN DREAM for BBC Films and House Productions. In the TV arena, Claire adapted Le Carrè’s THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL with Mike Lesslie – Park Chan Wook directed, Florence Pugh, Michael Shannon and Alexander Skarsgard star – which was released in UK (BBC1) & US (AMC) end of November 2018. She is currently writing multiple episodes and is a co-EP on Gareth Evan’s GANGS OF LONDON for Jane Featherstone / Pulse / Sky Atlantic / HBO; is creator and show-runner of European thriller THE HUNT for Nicola Shindler / Canal Plus; and is creating and show running psychological mystery thriller THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR for Filmnation TV. She is also currently writing multiple episodes and co-EPing on THE POWER alongside Naomi Alderman for Jane Featherstone’s Sister Pictures and Amazon – which Reed Morano will direct.
Anu HenriquesAssociate Director
Anu Henriques joined Fable Pictures (Wild Rose, Stan & Ollie, Rocks) in January 2017 and works across their slate in development and production. For the last three years she has worked with closely with Sarah Gavron as Associate Director on ROCKS. This collaboration involved Anu being part of all stages of process, playing a key creative role through development, shoot and post production on the film. Sarah Gavron describes Anu’s role as key to her direction of ROCKS.
2020-12-02T10:41:46+00:00September, 2020|In Conversation, Interview, Production Stories, The Watch|