Ben’s film-making began with his fresh ideas for his music videos for Mama, No Good, Kidz, Charmaine and Tough Love. In late 2006 Ben worked with Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas, Timecode) in developing his Hip-Hop musical concept in Bizzness Woman – part live action short film, part music video, all urban story-telling. Ben further developed this Hip-Hop musical concept in his next two collaborations with Producer Atif Ghani starting with Michelle (2008) the 16-minute pilot for his feature Ill Manors, followed by the music video Pieces for Radio-1 favourites Chase and Status.
Ben featured as Dabs in Noel Clarke’s award-winning Adulthood and more recently as Noel opposite Michael Caine in the current British hit Harry Brown. Ben was recently selected in Screen International’s 2009 “Stars of Tomorrow”.
Ill Manors, which Ben has also called a "hip-hop musical", is a multi-character story set against the tough streets of Forest Gate, East London where everyone is fighting for respect.
The film focuses on several core characters and their circles of violence as they survive off the streets of East London. Each story weaves into one another painting an ultra-realistic gritty picture of the world which is on the brink of self-descruction.
"I want to use a mostly unknown cast predominantly from the area of Forest Gate where the film is set. During the process of casting for my previous short film Michelle, I found that kids from the area were able to pick up the roles naturally as the local kids live on the streets that the film depicts and have come into contact with the type of people that the characters in the film are based on."
Casting is currently underway and the film is due to shoot late-summer.