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COMPULSORY Wins Grand Jury Prize at SXSW for PLAY IT SAFE



COMPULSORY has been developing the short with Mitch Kalisa for a number of years

COMPULSORY Wins Grand Jury Prize at SXSW for PLAY IT SAFE

Mitch Kalisa’s debut short takes home the prestigious Jury Narrative Short Award for PLAY IT SAFE, the first British win in this category for a decade.  

The London production company COMPULSORY have been developing the short with Mitch Kalisa for a number of years, shooting right before the first UK Lockdown due to the Coronavirus. 

PLAY IT SAFE is a parable on race, set in the ‘safe’ environment of a middle class, predominantly white drama school. An experience both  Mitch the director and lead actor Jonathan Ajayi have shared in their own recent history.  

As the summer BLM protests evolved, the subject matter of the film became more and more relevant by the day. And as we’re reminded of the race-charged rhetoric used by the British media, the film’s release could not me more poignant.  

Jonathan is best known for his role in the award-winning BBC version of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses where he played Lekan, and also stars in DC’s Wonder Woman 1984 - coming out in the UK next week. 

COMPULSORY have had a history of making award-winning short films and this year sees their move into feature development with a slate of projects. Championing the work of new voices in cinema.  

Sharing some words on the win, director Mitch Kalisa said: “A big thank you to SXSW and to the amazing cast and crew I was lucky enough to work with to bring this story to life. It’s been incredible to see how a personal story has touched so many. Hopefully the film has and will  inspire some important conversations around the issues raised. Thank you all once again. So much Love.”

Lead actor Jonathan Ajayi said of the project “Thank you to SXSW for championing this film in the way it deserves to be! It was a gift of a film as an actor and a deep responsibility as a black man. I’m honoured to have been a part of this.” 

Producer and EP Chris Toumazou added: “I am lost for words and eternally grateful for all of the support and win this year at SXSW 2021.  Thank you to the incredible crew that helped make this happen. I would like to thank Mitch, Jonathan and everyone who gave us their incredible dedication on this project. SXSW has become a champion in encouraging creativity for new voices. I hope to keep opening many more doors for diversity in front and behind the camera as a producer.” 

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COMPULSORY., Fri, 19 Mar 2021 15:55:44 GMT