New Channel 4 drama anthology; On the Edge debuts this August
Channel 4 launches a brand new three-part drama anthology (3 x 30) across one week this August collectively titled On The Edge. The week will showcase the work of three rising star writers and directors as part of the 4Stories initiative, the channel’s commitment to finding diverse debut drama talent.
Each drama was penned by a debut female writer and directed by directors from diverse backgrounds, who will get a national broadcast credit for the very first time.
The three bold, distinct but thematically linked films shine a light on key perspectives in criminal justice - the story of a criminal, a witness and a victim - and serve up a raw slice of real life in contemporary Britain.
The cast across the anthology includes BAFTA winner Chanel Cresswell (This is England, Trollied, The Aliens, My Name is Lenny, Murdered for Being Different, The Split), BAFTA winner Wunmi Mosaku (The End of the F***ing World, Damilola, Our Loved Boy, Kiri, Guerrilla, Luther), Alexandra Roach (No Offence, Utopia), Ria Zimitrowicz (Three Girls, Mr Selfridge), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty, Indian Summers, Misfits) and Nadine Marshall (Save Me, National Treasure, Second Coming). Carryl Thomas (Family Affairs, Le Grand), Cyril Nri (The Bill, Cucumber, Jellyfish) and Richard Harrington (Hinterland, Requiem, Poldark, Bleak House, Larkrise to Candleford) complete the cast.
Jonny Richards, Commissioning Executive for Channel 4 Drama said:
“We’re so excited that audiences can watch these three brilliant new dramas across one week on Channel 4. Led by a stellar cast, they take a bold and uncompromising look at life in Britain today, and showcase some of the country’s finest new talent.”
Ben Bickerton, Executive Producer for BlackLight said: “There’s nothing more rewarding for us than finding and working with exciting new talent and discovering their unique perspective on the world. It’s fantastic that Channel 4 support such bold and original drama from new voices.”
Executive produced by Philip Trethowan and Ben Bickerton and produced by Lisa Walters, who joined Blacklight (a Banijay Group company) after several years nurturing new talent at Channel 4 Drama.
The project is exclusively reserved to writers and directors yet to gain an original broadcast drama credit. Applications for writers and directors to apply for 4Stories series two will go live this August.
About the films:
Through the Gates is written by Georgia Christou and directed by Stella Corradi. Aimee (Ria Zmitrowicz) has spent most of her young, chaotic life in and out of prison. Tessa (Wunmi Mosaku) is the disillusioned parole officer in charge of Aimee’s welfare after her release, living her own life of organised chaos, under the watchful eye of boss, Mark (Craig Parkinson). Although from different worlds, both are trapped in cycles they can’t escape. Can they help each other find a way out?
A Mother’s Love is written by Janice Okoh, directed by Anwar Boulifa. The lives of single mum Josephine (Nadine Marshall) and her 11 year old son Ishmael (Keajohon Jennings Dillon) are shattered when he witnesses a gangland crime on their estate and is asked to testify against the killer. Under threat, they find sanctuary in the middle class home of Josephine’s sister Claudia (Carryl Thomas) and her disapproving husband Patrick (Cyril Nri). When Josephine starts to have doubts about her son’s account, she is torn between wanting to believe him and the suspicions that circle him. Is he being unfairly judged?
That Girl, written by Rose Lewenstein and directed by Dionne Edwards, centres around the friendship between Ashley (Chanel Cresswell) and Becca (Alexandra Roach). Free-spirited Ashley refuses to grow up, enabled by sensible flatmate Becca. When she is forced to confront a reality she tried to bury in her past, Ashley’s life begins to unravel. Will she take the law into her own hands?
4Stories is a major emerging talent initiative from Channel 4. Executive produced by Philip Trethowan, Ben Bickerton and Produced by Lisa Walters at Blacklight (a Banijay Group company), the project is exclusively reserved to writers and directors yet to gain an original broadcast drama credit. It was commissioned by Jonny Richards, Commissioning Executive for Drama, Channel 4 and Beth Willis, Head of Drama, Channel 4.
Supported by Directors UK, 4Stories encourages talent currently under-represented in television drama – women, disabled people, BAME and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the objective to showcase talent, and kick-start promising careers..
Three emerging writers and directors were selected from a large number of applications, to bring their unique vision for the films to life. 4Stories is the evolution of the Channel 4 talent initiative Coming Up, which most recently launched the career of writer Sarah Quintrell, and director Mahalia Belo with the BAFTA and Broadcast award-winning film Ellen, also produced by Philip Trethowan and Ben Bickerton.
About Directors UK
Directors UK is the professional association of UK screen directors. It is a membership organisation representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 6,700 members - the majority of working TV and film directors in the UK. Directors UK collects and distributes royalty payments and provides a range of services to members including campaigning, commercial negotiations, legal advice, events, training and career development. Directors UK works closely with fellow organisations around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns, promotes excellence in the craft of direction and champions change to the current landscape to create an equal opportunity industry for all.
BlackLight was formed in 2017 by Ben Bickerton and Phil Trethowan. Ben and Phil met when making the critically acclaimed film Ellen for Channel 4 and are backed by the Banijay Media Group, the world’s largest independent content creation Group for television and multimedia platforms. Ben and Phil both have over 20 years of experience making award-winning popular television drama.