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UK: Daniel Kaluuya premieres directorial debut 'The Kitchen'

Demmy Ladipo, from left, Daniel Kaluuya, Kane Robinson, Kibwe Tavares, Daniel Emmerson and Ian Wright at 'The Kitchen' premiere on Oct. 15, 2023.   -  
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Vianney Le Caer/2023 Invision

United Kingdom

Daniel Kaluuya brought the world premiere of his feature directorial debut, “The Kitchen,” to the BFI London Film Festival's closing night.

Kaluuya, who was co-director, co-writer and producer for his new movie set in 2044 London, said the process had been a long journey and that he learnt a lot along the way.

The 'Get Out' and 'Black Panther' star who grew up in London revealed Sunday (Oct. 15) what he wished for the London audience.

"I want them to feel seen and to relax and enjoy themselves. It's a movie premiere, but you know, it can be about we can enjoy. So I want them to just relax and enjoy and make the most of the moment and be present."

The film is set in a dystopian London where the gap between rich and poor has been stretched to its limits. Social housing has been eradicated.

But a community called the Kitchen refuses to move out of the place they call home.

For co-director Kibwe Tavares, a fellow Londoner, it was only normal to choose the city as the set.

"We wanted to talk about our home city, we wanted to talk about people in our home city. We wanted to find something that was really like new and just grounded, that we could find a way to communicate," he said. 

"So we really just came from a kind of conversation, many conversations about, what we're feeling about where we're from and and how can we find something that'll talk to people from where we're from and from our hometown."

The 1-hour-44 minute-film will release on Netflix. 'The Kitchen' stars newcomer Jedaiah Bannerman who plays 12-year-old Benji. Other cast members include rapper and actor Demmy Ladipo.

"It's where it had to premiere," Lapido says. 

"For me, it's. It's where it belongs. Like, so much of this is like a bit of a love letter to London as well. And I feel like London is like a character in the film as well. So, you know, it's, it's so important that it was here. So important because it's all about community and it's all about us."

All the actors agreed that Kaluuya, who co-wrote and co-directed the film was one of the draws to taking on the project.

Jedaiah Bannerman who plays Benji, a boy who has lost his mother and is searching for a family said, "Amazing man. He's a genius. Him and Kib, are geniuses like that, at the things that they see. I don't know how they're doing it." 

Actor Hope Ikpoku Jnr echoed the sentiment saying, "I read the script, I saw DK (Kaluuya) was involved and I'm a big fan of DK so anything DK's involved in if I can have a chance to be in it, I was involved."

Footballer Ian Wright who took on his first acting role for "The Kitchen" said, "(Kaluuya) Tried to get me into a headspace where I can understand the emotion of what's needed in that moment, which was really eye opening and really quite a nice journey for me to be doing something so different to what I'm used to doing. And I can because I totally respect the art of acting, you know, so for Daniel to give me a little taste of it, was really, is quite moving for me. I really loved it. "

The selection of The Kitchen to close the 67th BFI London Film Festival was annoucned last August.

The British Film Institute, the festival's organizer, is a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK‘s lead organisation for film and the moving image.

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