Ben Sharrock's Limbo

Ben Sharrock's Limbo has started shooting in The Outer Hebrides

Category: News Release

Protagonist Pictures come on board for worldwide sales on the feature funded by Film4, Screen Scotland and the BFI

Key cast announced - Amir El-Masry, Vikash Bhai, Ola Orebiyi & Kwabena Ansah

Plus Sidse Babett Knudsen and Kais Nashif in supporting roles


LIMBO is the new feature film from writer / director Ben Sharrock, who picked up the prestigious Michael Powell Award for his debut feature Pikadero. The film began a five-week shoot on The Uists in the Outer Hebrides on October 15th.

LIMBO is produced by Irune Gurtubai (Pikadero) for Caravan Cinema alongside Angus Lamont (‘71 and The Girl with All the Gifts) and is financed by Film4, Screen Scotland and the BFI. The executive producers are Julia Oh for Film4, Ross McKenzie for Screen Scotland and David Segal-Hamilton and Lizzie Francke for the BFI. Protagonist Pictures will look after international sales.

The cast is led by AMIR EL-MASRY (Jack Ryan, The State, The Night Manager) as Omar, alongside VIKASH BHAI as Farhad, OLA OREBIYI as Wasef and KWABENA ANSAH as Abedi. Sidse Babett Knudsen (Duke of Burgundy, Borgen) and Kais Nashif (Tel Aviv on Fire – Best Actor in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival 2018) join in supporting roles. LIMBO will also feature non-actors in small roles and as extras, including refugees who have made their home across Scotland and locals from the Outer Hebrides.

LIMBO is an offbeat observation of refugees waiting to be granted asylum on a fictional remote Scottish island. It focuses on Omar, a young Syrian musician who is burdened by the weight of his grandfather’s oud, which he has carried all the way from his homeland. The idiosyncratic stylistic sensibilities of Sharrock’s filmmaking style blend drama with melancholic absurdist humour, a tonal combination that created critical acclaim and a strong festival buzz for his and producer Irune Gurtubai’s first feature Pikadero.

For larger cast images plus an image of Ben Sharrock download HERE (opens in a new window)

Media Contact Details:

Zoe Flower - 07734254362 / (UK)

Ruth Marsh - 07824468396 / (Scotland)



Ben Sharrock is an award winning writer and director known for his unique sense of cinematic style and voice. His work has been described as visually striking, quirky and intelligent.

Ben's debut feature film Pikadero, premiered at San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2015, where he was nominated for Best New Director. It went on to screen at over 40 major film festivals across the globe and win multiple awards including the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film at Edinburgh International Film Festival, the FIPRESCI and Best Film at Kiev International Film Festival, Critic's Choice in Zurich and the Cineuropa Award in Brussels, among others. The film was recognised by the Spanish Film Academy as an "outstanding contribution to independent Spanish cinema" and while Scottish, Ben has been hailed as “a new voice in Spanish cinema”. Pikadero has been sold to television and theatrically distributed across Europe. LIMBO is his second feature. Ben’s previous short film work won numerous awards, including two BAFTA New Talents for “Best Drama” and “Best Writer” for Patata Tortilla in 2015.

Ben lived in Syria during his undergraduate degree in Arabic and Politics the year before civil war broke out. He then attended Screen Academy Scotland, where he graduated with an MA Distinction in Film Directing followed by an MFA in Advanced Film Practice.

Ben is represented by Troika (opens in a new window).



Screen Scotland is the new dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland, delivering enhanced support for all aspects of Scotland’s screen sector.

Screen Scotland will lead the growth of the sector through increased funding and support for film and television production, an increase in specialist staff and further investment in skills, festivals, audiences and education.

Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, funded by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. | @screenscots



Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, both new and established.

Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®-winners such as Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years and David Mackenzie’s Starred Up.

Film4’s recent releases include Bart Layton’s American Animals, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Lenny Abrahamson’s The Little Stranger, Iain Morris’s The Festival, Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Michael Pearce’s Beast and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Forthcoming releases include Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Steve McQueen’s Widows, Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Stephen Merchant’s Fighting With My Family, Tom Harper’s Wild Rose and Jim Hosking’s An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn. Films in production include Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, Asif Kapadia’s Maradona, Sarah Gavron’s ‘Untitled Girls Film’, Nick Rowland’s Calm With Horses, Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang, Coky Giedroyc’s adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s How To Build a Girl and Chaplin from Peter Middleton and James Spinney.

For further information please visit (opens in a new window).



Protagonist Pictures is an international finance, production and sales company which has a proven track record in outstanding films and commercial successes. Based in the UK, the company handles films from around the world, always maintaining a strong focus on filmmakers with exceptional vision and storytelling skills.

Current successes on release around the world include Cannes 2018 Best Director winner Cold War from Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski, the 2017 Directors’ Fortnight Art Cinema Award Winner The Riderfrom Chloé Zhao, and Toronto International Film Festival 2017 Official Selection Beast from writer/director Michael Pearce.

In post-production are The Souvenir from Executive Producer Martin Scorsese and directed by Joanna Hogg, zombie comedy Little Monsters starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad, Juan Cabral’s Two/One starring Boyd Holbrook and Beau Bridges, How to Build a Girl, based on the novel by Caitlin Moran and starring Beanie Feldstein and Alfie Allen, Hope Gap starring Annette Bening and Bill Nighy, Corporate Animals, starring Demi Moore and Ed Helms, and My Zoe, from writer/director Julie Delpy, starring alongside Daniel Brühl and Gemma Arterton.

In production is Monday, starring Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough; and forthcoming productions include The Cradle, starring Jack O’Connell and Lily Collins, The Sound of Philadelphia, with Matthias Schoenaerts, Garrett Hedlund and Scoot McNairy, and The Education of Fredrick Fitzell, starring Dylan O’Brien and Maika Monroe.



The BFI Film Fund supports world-class UK filmmaking from talent and film development, through to production and audience development across exhibition, distribution and international sales, investing over £50 million of National Lottery funding a year.

Recent releases and highly anticipated films backed by the BFI include Mike Leigh’s Peterloo which receives its UK premiere at the 62nd BFI London Film Festival and Cold War which brought Pawel Pawlikowski the Best Director at this year’s Cannes. Both screened at the Toronto International Film Festival alongside Wash Westmoreland’s Colette, William McGregor’s Gwen, Claire Denis’s High Life, Peter Strickland’s In Fabric, Carol Morley’s Out of Blue, Richard Billingham’s Ray & Liz, Annabel Jankel’s Tell it to the Bees, Tom Harper’s Wild Rose and Amma Asante’s Where Hands Touch. Also in the pipeline for release are Brian Welsh’s Beats; Tinge Krishnan’s Been So Long; Scott Graham’s Born to Run; Chiwetel Ejiofores The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind; Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s Chaplin; Chris Morris Untitled Project; Neil Biswas’s Darkness Visible;Jason Barker’s A Deal with the Universe; Sacha Polak’s Dirty God; Craig Roberts’ Eternal Beauty; Jim Hosking’s An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; Thomas Clay’s Fanny Lye Deliver’d; Iain Cunningham’s Irene’s Ghost; Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts; Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn’s Normal People;Matthew Jones’ The Man from Mo’ Wax; Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Mary Shelley; Hong Khaou’s Monsoon; Sean McAllister’s A Northern Soul; Steve McLean’s Postcards from London; Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You; Joanna Hoggds The Souvenir; Chino MoyaggdUndergods; Tim Travers Hawkins’s XY Chelsea; and Idris ElbakinYardie.


The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of UK and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class filmmakers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting UK film and talent to the world
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences