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Mean Streets and mini macaroons

Ben Drew (aka Plan B) was in Cannes for the market premiere of his hard hitting directorial debut iLL Manors as well as a great party afterwards.

Ben Drew (aka UK rapper/soul singer Plan B) is in town for the market premiere of his debut feature iLL Manors, which came out of Film London’s low-budget scheme Microwave and is being sold by Bankside (Revolver releases in the UK next month). The hard-hitting tale of drugs, prostitutes and disaffected youth in east London stars UK actors Riz Ahmed and Natalie Press and is narrated by Drew in the form of a rap.

With some pretty gruesome scenes involving the treatment of women, Drew is aware some people
might see the film as misogynistic. “I think it’s the opposite. I’m trying to say, men are bastards and that’s how they treat women in that environment. So if it comes across as misogynistic, in reality it is, in that world. But anyone who thinks it’s cool to treat women like that is a c***.”

The film may be bleak but there are moments of humour, albeit very dark humour. “In real life, bad things happen,” says Drew, who drew on some of his ownexperiences growing up for the feature. “We cry, but we also laugh. It was about getting natural humour and a lot of that came from letting the actors improvise.”

Not content with acting (he will next be seen in The Sweeney opposite Ray Winstone), directing and singing, the multi-talented Londoner revealed he is to launch his own fashion label as well as a music publishing company to support up-and-coming young artists.

And in the meantime, Drew attended his own iLL Manors party in Cannes on saturday night, which turned out to be the hot ticket (after the football had finished), although he didn’t get up and sing unfortunately. Still, the music was pumping (even this pregnant person was dancing away til the early hours) and the drinks were flowing.

Although I’m not sure that mini macaroons and delicate raspberry tarts really fit in with the film’s hard hitting image..

 

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