Special Presentation


This is a vibrant and hugely engaging portrait of female friendship and growing up in London from director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane, Suffragette) and writers Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson.

Dir Sarah Gavron
Prod Faye Ward, Ameenah Ayub Allen
Scr Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson
With Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, D’angelou Osei Kissiedu, Shaneigha-Monik Greyson, Ruby Stokes
Cert 12
UK Distribution Altitude Film Entertainment

Olushola Joy Omotoso, ‘Rocks’ to her mates, is a London teenager with ordinary teenage cares; hanging with her crew and helping to look after her little brother keeps her grounded. But on returning from an ordinary day at secondary school, she discovers her mother isn’t home. There’s just a little cash and an apology note. Fearing that she and her brother will be separated if the authorities find out, Rocks decides not to tell anyone and instead copes with her brother alone. Based on a script from award-winning playwright Theresa Ikoko and Claire Wilson (Little Drummer Girl, LFF 2018), with a storyline conceived by Ikoko, the drama was developed through extensive workshops with Gavron and the female cast, all of whom were discovered through casting sessions at schools. Hélène Louvart’s (Happy as Lazzaro, LFF 2018) fluid, intimate cinematography helps give Rocks a persuasive immediacy and naturalism, with the girls vividly bringing their characters to life. What’s remarkable is that far from feeling as if the film has been cast with ‘non-actors’, Rocks features magnetic performances across the board – particularly from the trio at the heart of the story. Kosar Ali and Shaneigha-Monik Greyson are great as the friends pulling Rocks in different directions, and Bukky Bakray is fearless and entrancing in the title role. Along with the whole filmmaking team, they give voice to the London girls you see every day. Lean closer because they have something to say.

Tricia Tuttle

Festival guests

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

  • Sarah Gavron, director; Ameenah Ayub Allen, producer; Claire Wilson, screenwriter; Theresa Ikoko, screenwriter.

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

Additional information

Special £5 tickets for 25 & Under are bookable in advance at bfi.org.uk/lff/25-and-under.