“Rocks,” a drama film starring east London schoolgirls, received praise at the British independent film awards. It was named the best British independent film.
One of the film’s stars, 17-year-old Kosar Ali, won best supporting actress and most promising newcomer. She plays the best friend of Rocks in the movie. Ali told the PA news agency that acting in the film helped her better understand herself as a person and as an actor.
“Before this whole experience I never thought I would be who I am today, winning awards and even pursuing this acting career,” Ali said.
Actor D’Angelou Osei Kissiedu also won an award for the best supporting actor at only age seven. He plays the younger brother Emmanuel in the film. Additionally, the film’s title star, Bukky Bakray, was nominated for best actress.
The “Rocks” director Sarah Gavron and the casting director Lucy Pardee hired young and unknown stars, auditioning about 1,300 students. Most didn’t have any acting experience before being cast in the film. But the young stars performed remarkably, improvising much of the movie’s dialogue.
The film Producer, Ameenah Ayub Allen, says “Rocks” is a celebration of independent films and female film-making.
“When we were filming, we always thought the film was imbued with the spirit of a teenage girl,” said Allen. “It is just phenomenal that it has come here and that the spirit of a teenage girl has won best film, with a completely different way of film-making, with all these incredible women.”
You can watch “Rocks,” which was made by a majority female cast and crew on Netflix.