Implicit Racism in Drama Get Challenged in “Play it Safe” at SXSW

From the UK’s diversity-focused boutique production entity Compulsory comes the World Premiere of PLAY IT SAFE at SXSW as a part of the Narrative Shorts Competition.

In PLAY IT SAFE, Jonathan (Jonathan Ajayi, Noughts and Crosses) is out of place in his middle-class London drama school. Pigeonholed for a role as a Black hoodlum in a classmate’s play, and coaxed his teacher to take the typecast part, Jonathan is faced with the all-too-familiar decision: to challenge prejudice, or play it safe.

Originally from Rwanda, writer/director Mitch Kalisa arrived in the UK as a child via Uganda. Mitch first explored his passion for film through acting and later moved into painting and sculpture before landing on directing as his primary creative output. He hopes to break convention and boundaries and tell rich stories from diverse, unheard voices. This is his first short film.

London-born rising star Jonathan Ajayi can most recently be seen as viewer favorite villain Lakan in the hugely successful series Noughts and Crosses for BBC One, based on the Malorie Blackman novel.

Producer Chris Toumazou is of Compulsory works, which has a roster of international director and multi-disciplinary artists to develop a slate of projects specializing in breaking new voices in film, video and advertising.

Kwame Anane

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