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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best creativity magazine in the UK“, MOBO award winning British rapper, Abra Cadabra, stars in Trapping, an independent film about the reality of county lines in the UK, premiering on September 15th, 2023 on new streaming platform The Drop.
Multiple award-winning and two-times BAFTA and GRAMMY® nominated filmmaker, director, writer and social activist Penny Woolcock (Tina Goes Shopping, Shakespeare on The Estate, Ackley Bridge, The Death of Klinghoffer) has teamed up with production company Fan Studios to create the film ‘TRAPPING’ – a brutally honest fictional portrayal of the distressing reality of county lines in the UK.
Filmed between economically deprived areas of London and Kent, ‘TRAPPING’ stars upcoming actors Louis Ede (who plays leading character Daz), Aaliyah Gohir (who plays Maryam), C-Biz (who plays Bigger Man), Femi Oyeniran (who plays Wole), Nicky Walker, (who plays Slim Man), and Drill group OFB.
It also sees MOBO award winning British Rapper Abra Cadabra (who plays leading county line gang member, Magic) cast in his first ever acting role. Hailing from Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham London, Abra Cadabra weaves his lived personal experience into his debut acting role to deliver a powerful and authentic performance.
The movie speaks for itself, it’s got a message behind it, it’s an insight into what you could be getting yourself into trying to go down that road. If it’s not your portion, don’t go for it. It shouldn’t be for anyone.
‘TRAPPING’ delves deep into the less-explored world of ‘going county’ or OT (out of town), where children (as young as 6 years old) and teenagers are being groomed by county line gangs to carry and sell drugs, move far away from their homes, skip school, sleep in out-of-town “trap houses”/ drug dens, keep secrets from their loved ones, and become trapped in a hopeless situation.
It follows the story of a likable and relatable London-based teenager called Daz, who sees dealing drugs as a route to easy cash to help his struggling family. As Daz becomes more involved in a county lines gang and is taken under the wing of lead member Magic, he is coerced into moving to Margate in Kent where he is thrust into scenarios that are completely out of his hands, forcing him to do things he never imagined – just to survive. Laced with shocking imagery and harrowing scenes that are brought to life through the outstanding performances of the cast, the film proves an uncomfortable watch and sends a warning message that is likely to stay with its audience.
The subject matter couldn’t be more urgent considering The National Crime Agency has identified county lines as “the most frequently identified form of coerced criminality, with children representing the vast majority of victims”. While The Children’s Society have reported that 46,000 children in England (with 4,000 teenagers being criminally exploited in London alone), and 90% of English police forces have seen county lines activity and the violence is getting worse while 4 in 5 parents are worried about county lines in their local area.
The situation has been further exacerbated by the recent rise of children reported missing from school and the rapidly increasing deprivation felt by youth nationwide. With recent reports highlighting that one in five pupils in England were persistently arriving in school hungry during the last school year, and Children’s Charities stating that one in three children were living in poverty in the UK in 2021/2022, and around 350,000 more children were pushed into poverty last year.
Beyond exploring the drug-riddled underbelly of county lines gangs, ‘TRAPPING’ homes in on themes of drug addiction, poverty, and squalor evident across Britain today.
‘TRAPPING’ will premiere on 15 September on brand new pay-per-view streaming platform THE DROP which will launch on the same day.
THE DROP is the brainchild of Fan Studios founders, British directors, actors and Grime pioneers, Femi Oyeniran (Kidulthood) and Nicky “Slimting” Walker. Supported by the British Film Institute, ground-breaking platform THE DROP is dedicated to serving minority and underrepresented audiences globally and promoting independent and upcoming talent in the British TV and Film Industries.
Powered by innovative technology from cutting edge web3 company, TokenTraxx, The Drop give fans exclusive access and experiences via a series of digital collectibles and NFTs, providing the perfect platform for premiering this hard-hitting, timely British made film.
Young people want limited edition and rare products, they want bespoke products and experiences, this has led to the success of brands such as Jordan, Yeezy and Supreme. These hype products have generated hype because of their exclusivity and limited availability. The Drop will see Fan Studios applying this to film.
The Drop will release new exclusive long-form content every quarter. Every time content is released on The Drop, users will only be able to watch the piece of content for a limited period before it is taken down. The launch of the Drop is being supported by the BFI to give independent film makers a platform to release content to underserved audiences.
For every film released on THE DROP, there will be seven other verticals and points of sale on the platform. The audience will be able to go on the site to watch the movie and on top of that we will offer them the opportunity to watch the “Making of…” documentary, access NFT and/or physical art, merch, limited edition music and take part in challenges.
TRAPPING transports the viewer into the ‘traphouse’ in a way that has never been seen before. We’ve always taken an innovative approach to all our film releases, and the launch of THE DROP continues that trend. As streaming wars take centre stage and platforms like Netflix zero in on using megastars to reach new audiences, newer talent and filmmakers will struggle to find a home for their content. THE DROP provides a ground-breaking global platform that will allow them to reach their audience and deliver access to exclusive content currently unavailable elsewhere.
–Fan Studios founders Femi Oyeniran and Nicky “Slimting” Walker
Fan Studios was founded by award-winning actor, writer and filmmaker Femi Oyeniran and Grime music pioneer and award-winning director Nicky “Slimting” Walker.
The company has gone on to produce some of the most iconic and cult classic films and content within UK Film, TV and Music culture. Their films include IT’S A LOT, multiple awards winning The Intent and The Intent 2. With TV efforts including Against All Odds, their relaunch of iconic music channel Channel U, From Raps To Riches: Untold for Channel 4 and The Evolution of Black British Music for BET, which won a Royal Television Society Award in the Arts Category. They are the producers and lead financiers of TRAPPING.
I am very excited about the release of Trapping, a unique film young people will actually want to watch. Introducing Louis Ede and the charismatic drill star Abracadabra with his mouthful of diamonds, this is a roller coast ride, taking you deep into a world hiding in plain sight, right there on the edges of our cities and small towns. Easy to get into and impossible to leave.
-Director Penny Woolcock
Penny Woolcock is a multi-award-winning film, television and opera writer and director, who has not only won several Royal Television Awards and the Edinburgh International Film festival but she has picked up nominations for the BAFTA’s & Grammy’s for her work. Her television fiction includes Tina Goes Shopping and Tina Takes a break and she was lead director on the recent hit Channel 4 series Ackley Bridge. Her first feature as a writer and director was Women in Tropical Places in 1989. Since then she has directed and written numerous documentary and feature films, for television and screen.
She adapted and directed Macbeth on the Estate in 1997. As with her earlier film Shakespeare on the Estate (made with Michael Bogdanov), African-Caribbean people living in tower blocks in Ladywood, Birmingham were revealed to have a natural affinity with Shakespearean language and great skill at making Shakespeare relevant to present day inner city life.
Her breakthrough film was Tina Goes Shopping which was a collaborative piece with the real residents of the Gipton estates in Leeds, and which forms part one of what is now known as the Tina Trilogy (along with Tina takes a Break and the feature film Mischief Night). As well as starring in the Tina Trilogy, people from the estate (including Kelli Hollis) went on to appear in other TV and feature films, a social action feature of much of Woolcock’s work.
She has provided informal support to many people she has encountered whilst making documentaries and has tried to have social impacts over and above the making of her films. In Birmingham she was involved in helping to bring about a gangland truce after the making of the movie 1 Day and the documentary One Mile Away (both of which illustrated gangland “postcode wars”). She is part of a social enterprise with Shabba Thompson and other ex-gang members trying to bring about change in parts of Birmingham affected by gang violence.
In 2013, Woolcock released a new documentary, Storyville: From the Sea to the Land Beyond – Britain’s Coast on Film, which was broadcast on the BBC . Based on archive movie footage from early cinematography to recent times it illustrated working-class life in the 20th century.
She is currently the executive director of Ackley Bridge, a television series broadcast on Channel 4. She has directed operas Doctor Atomic and The Pearl Fishers at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the English National Opera and The Passion for Streetwise Opera. She has had major solo art shows at the Roundhouse in Camden and Modern Art Oxford.
TokenTraxx offers cutting-edge web3 infrastructure tailored specifically for the music industry. Backed by a highly skilled team of professionals in music, web3, and growth, TokenTraxx occupies a distinctive position, empowering growth by delivering Music Web3 as a Service through their innovative platform, TRAXX Studios.
This network of decentralized and personalized marketplaces seamlessly connects communities, equipping the music industry with a comprehensive suite of fan engagement tools. Our collection, which comprises music, poster, typography, deleted scenes and IRL experiences takes audiences even closer to the world of the movie, in an even more undiluted way.
Holders of these digital collectibles will get early access to the film trailer, bonus material, promotional assets, the premiere, creative workshops and on-demand screening of the film itself. Furthermore, TokenTraxx will deploy ‘reward for engagement’ tools in partnership with Cub3 to further amplify content and build awareness for the forthcoming film release. Holders of the digital assets can be part of the street marketing for the film and in turn receive access to exclusive events, music and content.
Find more from Trapping now:
Trapping will be available to view September 15th
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