the kitchen

Source: Olivia Rose / Albert Sackey

Kano, Jedaiah Bannerman

Rap artist Kano and newcomer Jedaiah Bannerman will lead the cast of Kibwe Tavares’ Netflix production The Kitchen, a dystopian drama co-written by Daniel Kaluuya and Joe Murtagh.

Production began this week; the film is shooting on location in London and Paris. The film is produced by Daniel Emmerson for DMC Film and Kaluuya for his 59% Productions; it is based on an idea by Kaluuya, Tavares and Emmerson.

The project is the latest to be commissioned by Fiona Lamptey, director of UK features at Netflix. 

Theo Barrowclough is co-producer on the film, with Conor McCaughan and Michael Fassbender as executive producers for DMC Film.

Set in 2044 in a world where financial inequality has been stretched to its limits, The Kitchen centres on the titular area on the outskirts of London, where residents who don’t want to leave the city have been forced to live in temporary accommodation.

Kano – real name Kane Robinson – plays a resident of the kitchen who is desperately trying to find a way out, while Bannerman plays a 12-year-old who has lost his mother and is searching for a family.

Screen Stars unite

The Kitchen was developed with Film4 support, with the funder’s David Kimbangi and Ollie Madden also executive producers on the film.

UK filmmaker Tavares won the Sundance Special Jury Award for his 2011 short Robots Of Brixton, and screened at Sundance again in 2013 with short Jonah starring Kaluuya. He executive produced BBC series Noughts & Crosses, and works as a multi-disciplinary artist across film, theatre and architecture through his creative studio Factory Fifteen.

Kaluuya (2009, as an actor), Tavares (2012), Emmerson (2015) and Murtagh (2016) have all previously been named Screen Stars of Tomorrow, as has the film’s casting director Aisha Bywaters (2020), who discovered Bannerman. Further new UK talent will be announced on the cast in coming weeks.

“In 2011, I was in my barbershop and there was a guy boasting about smash and grabs – kids doing million-pound heists in a minute, getting paid £200 to do it. I saw the potential to unlock a unique story door to the inequality, fatherhood, class, joy, resilience, courage, defiance and care of London,” said Kaluuya. “Now, nearly a decade later, Kibwe Tavares, Daniel Emmerson and I are about to start production, immersing ourselves in a dystopian London that interrogates what ‘care’ means, at home and as a society and the dangers in our future if we stay indifferent to everything around us.”

Tavares described the film as “a love letter to London, the city that has defined my childhood and ultimately my identity. It’s set in an extreme version of our current world; our characters have little choice but to let the city take over them.”

The Kitchen is ambitious, timely and will showcase the great vision he has as a filmmaker, bringing the exciting world-building and textured nuances from Daniel Kaluuya’s debut feature script to our screens,” added Lamptey.

Robinson can currently be seen in season two of Netflix series Top Boy. Murtagh wrote and Emmerson produced DMC’s 2021 Bafta-nominated Calm With Horses while 59%’s upcoming slate includes comedy Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul, which Focus Features acquired out of Sundance this year.