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County Lines

Drawing on real-life cases, this is a controlled and disquieting drama about a 14-year-old London boy being used as a mule by nationwide drug traffickers.

Dir-Scr Henry Blake
Prod Victoria Bavister, David Broder
With Conrad Khan, Ashley Madekwe, Harris Dickinson
UK
2019
90min
Prod Co Two Birds Entertainment

The term ‘county lines’ describes the practice of using children to traffic drugs from cities to coastal towns and rural areas, an underreported fact of modern British life. Inspired by the stories he heard while mentoring kids at an East London pupil referral unit, writer-director Henry Blake’s powerful feature debut boasts a compelling central performance by Conrad Khan as 14-year-old Tyler, whose mum Toni (Ashley Madekwe) is struggling to provide for him and his sister. Excluded from school, Tyler becomes a train-bound narcotics courier for local criminal Simon, played with a calm menace by Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats, LFF 2017). County Lines depicts the ensuing cycle of debt, deceit and violent exploitation with a quiet stylistic confidence that’s all the more haunting for being so rigorously unsentimental.

Manish Agarwal

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Henry Blake, director; David Broder, producer; Victoria Bavister, producer; Ashley Madekwe, cast; Conrad Khan, cast; Marcus Rutherford, cast; Harris Dickinson, cast.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

This is a 18+ screening.

Tickets for the additional screening are on sale to BFI Champions/Patrons Thu 19 Sep 10:00, BFI Members Thu 19 Sep 11:00 and to the public from Fri 20 Sep 10:00.


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