Written and Directed by Jeremy Ngatho Cole
Produced by Fiona Lamptey
Starring: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Joan Iyiola and introducing Nathaneal Emiola
Drawing from his documentary background, award-winning filmmaker Jeremy Ngatho Cole delivers a poignant, personal and neatly wrapped story about Black British parenthood and the inevitable consequences of the pressure to be Twice As Good.
The night before her son Dee Dee’s seventh birthday, an unexpected intruder crash-lands into Grace’s kitchen. As she discovers who the intruder is she must decide how to protect her son while navigating the complexities of Black parenthood in modern Britain.
Cole blends gritty realism with futuristic fantasy to bring a fresh approach to his deeply personal story about the future of Black parenthood and the toll on young Black Brits. Twice As Good, a familiar rhetoric for the children of immigrant families – was the starting point for the film that explores the future of Black Britishness through the genre of Sci-Fi.
Cole made the shoot just as personal as the script’s narrative shooting in and around his South London home where his passion for film and storytelling were first formed. He also brought together his HODs and crew from his pool of regular collaborators such as director of photography Pieter Mattheus Snyman, and production designer Sarah Asmail who understood the significance of the project.
Through a personal family connection he met Kobna Holdbrook Smith (Mary Poppins Returns, Paddington 2) whom he had crossed paths with years before as children. It was clear the actor was the perfect fit for Dee Dee, a young man travelling back in time to find answers around his upbringing. For the formidable role of Grace, already a fan of her work, Cole was introduced to Joan Iyola (The Duchess of Malfi, Dọlápọ̀ Is Fine) by casting director Aisha Bywaters (The Last Tree, Dirty God). Following their initial meeting, Joan helped to expand the role of Grace, eventually delivering an authentic, central and subtle performance. The film makes the acting debut of Nathaneal Emiola, brought on through producer Fiona Lamptey, the young actor perfectly captures the innocence of the young boy and was a ‘hero’ on set.
For Cole, and most of his crew, the film was a major first step into narrative fiction. It is testament to the team that despite facing unknown challenges and dealing with an impending national lockdown, production successfully wrapped on 17 March, just five days before London came to a standstill halting productions everywhere.
Cole recalls the final day of the shoot, exhausted on his sofa “It felt kind of nuts that I’d just wrapped a short with Film4 and was sat on the same sofa I used to watch films on”. The filmmaker has drawn a neat circle from the days when he was told he’d need to be Twice As Good and, as the film strongly suggests, he’s done just that but leaving the audience to question the complexities of Black parenthood.
Cast (in order of appearance)
Dee Dee (Child)
Dee Dee (Adult)
Boy in Photo
Jeremy Ngatho Cole
Director of Photography
Pieter Mattheus Snyman
1st Assistant Director
Composer & Production Sound Mixer
Hair & Make Up Designer
Post Production Supervisor
Jeremy Ngatho Cole - Writer-Director
An award-winning filmmaker and multi-disciplined creative born in Kenya and raised in the UK. Jeremy's filmmaking career began in 2013 with a short documentary about the influence of a stepdad on his six-year-old stepson from Stockwell. Commissioned and broadcast by Channel 4, it was his first of three Vimeo Staff Picks that year. He has since directed award-winning documentaries, short films, TV series and music videos including three series Four To The Floor (Channel 4), which picked up two Broadcast Awards for Best Music Programme (2016 & 2018); and Migrant Sound, a four-part documentary series about the impact of Caribbean culture on British music, which won a Webby for Best Online Social Documentary in 2019. The intention of his work is to reflect true human stories, with particular focus on narratives that offer a new light into racial, social and community understanding. In 2019, he formed YOUT with Marco Grey and they've since delivered creative direction for musicians such as Little Simz, Kojey Radical, Pa Salieu, Jeshi, Cleo Sol, Juls and more.
Fiona Lamptey - Producer
Fiona Lamptey is a producer and the newly appointed Director of U.K Features for Netflix. She graduated in Film and Video Production at the University of Bedfordshire in 2004 and shortly after got an offer from Channel4 to work on documentary, reality and live entertainment television. After five years in TV commissioning, she went to work for Channel4's feature film division Film4, where she helped manage low-budget and short film production. Always on the lookout for distinct British talent, Fiona set up her company Fruit Tree Media, where she remains founder and creative producer today. Her aim with Fruit Tree is to seek out filmmaking talent and use her industry experience to cultivate original storytelling and champion unrepresented voices within a structured and supportive framework. Fiona has served as a tutor and workshop facilitator for the National Film and Television School, a live event host for BAFTA and a mentor to new writing talent. Fiona has produced a number of distinctive and cross-disciplinary works and has been a support and launchpad for some of the UK’s most exciting talent. In 2019 she was named one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow and received a BFI Vision Award the following year. As well as producing the mini sci-fi series for Film4 in 2020, Fiona also produced Debbie Tucker Green's much anticipated second feature film, Ear For Eye.
Samira Musa - Associate Producer
Samira Musa is a British-Somali film producer based in the UK. Her ambition is to uncover, produce and archive impact driven stories to fuel the next generation of leaders globally. AS well as working across all five of the films in Film4's Sci-Fi series, Samira was associate producer for Aisha and Abhaya, a co-production between The Royal Ballet and Rambert, in association with BBC Films and Robin Saunders. Samira’s film credits include Ear for Eye (production manager) written and directed by Debbie Tucker Green. Short film credits include Fate (producer), a British-Somali film challenging the pressure of weddings in the Somali community; The Cost of Bronze (executive producer), a film about a woman who refuses to be erased which was in official selection at Underwire Festival and also a semi-finalist at the Los Angeles CineFest. Her latest production accountant credits include Barbarians directed by Charlie Dofman and The Last Bus directed by Gillies MacKinnon, starring Timothy Spall.
Joan Iyiola - Grace
Joan Iyiola is a British-Nigerian actress, writer and producer based in London. She is best known for playing the title role in The Duchess of Malfi at the RSC, and Dọlápọ̀ Is Fine. Her television credits include Too Close (ITV), Enterprice (BBC/ Fudge Park Productions), Black Earth Rising (BBC/Netflix) New Blood (BBC/Netflix) & Yonderland (Working Title /Sky 1). She has also worked across films such as Don't Come Here (Fish in the City Films), Denial (Mick Jackson), The Dead Sea (6th International Films), Words (Dino Kazamia) and Show Dogs (Open Road Films & Riverstone Pictures). Joan is co-founder of Apatan Productions, a film and TV production company based in London and set up in 2018. Joan co-wrote, produced and acted in Dọlápọ̀ Is Fine which was shot under Bumble’s Female Film Force Fund. The film was delivered in January 2020 and premiered at the American Black Film Festival where it won the 2020 HBO Short Film Competition. Joan was recently named as one of Digital Spy’s 30 Black British Stars of Tomorrow, and BFI NETWORK X BAFTA’s Crew for 2021. Joan is Co-Founder of The Mono Box, a non-profit organisation supporting emerging artists in theatre and film.
Kobna Holdbrook Smith - Dee Dee (Adult)
Kobna Holdbrook Smith recently won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his highly lauded performance as Ike Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. He co-starred in Mary Poppins Returns opposite Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw and Lin Manuel-Miranda. Film credits include Paddington 2, Ghost Stories opposite Martin Freeman, The Commuter opposite Liam Neeson, Marvel’s Dr. Strange and Justice League. His television work includes The Split and Capital and The Worricker Trilogy with Christopher Walken and Bill Nighy. And alongside this screen work, Kobna has an glowing list of critically acclaimed stage credits including Laertes in Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch (Barbican), Rosencrantz & Gildenstern are Dead also opposite Benedict Cumberbatch (National Theatre 50th), Edward II with Vanessa Kirby (National Theatre) and The Low Road (Royal Court) with Johnny Flynn.
Nathanael Emiola - Dee Dee (Child)
Twice As Good is eight year old Nathanael Emiola’s first acting role. Nathanael hails from South-East London, is a massive WWE fan and keen footballer. Intelligent, kind, confident, caring and sociable; He excels at school, where he is on the school council, which gave him the opportunity to liaise with MPs on a visit to the Houses of Parliament. This is Nathanael’s first acting role.
Jim Page - Editor
Named a Berlinale Talent for 2021, Page is experienced in cutting both drama and comedy. His films have played at the BFI LFF, Cannes and the Edinburgh Film Festival (The Pugilist was nominated for the Michael Powell Award), whilst short No More Wings won the best film award at Tribeca, and Hair Cut was longlisted for a BAFTA. His work has drawn praise from David Fincher, Mark Romanek and David Yates, amongst others. In addition to his cinematic work, he has also edited Coronation Street and Eastenders and is an in-demand editor of documentary television.
Pieter Mattheus Snyman - Director of Photography
Pieter Mattheus Snyman is a director of photography based in London. He grew up in a small town in South Africa called Stellenbosch, before moving to London in 2015. He presents a strong body of work in music, television and commercials. His notable TV credits include Series DOP for Channel 4's multiple award-winning show Four To The Floor (series 3, 4 and 5), as well as 2nd Unit DOP for the Netflix and BBC 3 series, Man Like Mobeen. With multiple UKMVA nominations, Pieter has been involved in creating visual identities for numerous artists like Slowthai, Beabadoobee and Passenger. Other artists include Skepta, A$AP Rocky, The 1975, Rudimental, and Little Simz. His recent commercial work includes the TV commercial for Pip & Nut as well as other brands including Peroni, Miller Beer, Apple iWatch, Dyson, Wren Kitchen, Lipton and Samsung.
Aisha Bywaters - Casting Director
Aisha Bywaters started working in casting in 2007, working for Shaheen Baig for six years, assisting on numerous projects including films The Impossible, Starred Up, Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders. In 2015 she set up her own company, her credits as a casting director include Cyberbully (starring Maisie Williams), The Watchmen (starring Stephen Graham) and Enterprice (written by and starring Kayode Ewumi) for TV. Her film credits include Dirty God and The Last Tree (which both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2019). For her work on The Last Tree she was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for best casting alongside Shaheen Baig. Her upcoming projects include Channel 4 comedy Lady Parts written and directed by Nida Manzoor and feature film County Lines (which premiered at the 2019 BFI London Film Festival). In September 2020 Aisha was named one of Screen International's UK & Ireland Stars of Tomorrow.
Sarah Asmail - Production Designer
Sarah Asmail is a 24-year-old multidisciplinary production designer based in London.
Barbara Ayozie - Costume Designer
Barbara Ayozie Fu Safira is an Italo-Nigerian creative, based in London. The only way she knows
how to view the world is through an eye of imperative style and elegance. Her work and world is a fusion of multidisciplinary media which include creative art direction, fashion styling and analogue photography. Her work is inspired by human behaviour, minds, Japanese cartoons, Pop, Classic & Modern art. Her style is the constant evolution of her music frequencies and the simple understanding of human experiences of life. Her clients include brands such as Nike, Chanel, Universal Music, Sony-music, Condé Nast, Hearst, Koovs, Grand Vision, Familia Production, Forever Living Originals, Youth, Fiorentini Baker and Film4.
Loner Muaka - Composer and Production Sound Mixer
Loner Muaka is a talented London based producer, multi-instrumentalist and sound designer. His work involves a wide range of music for various different artists, live shows as well as short films and TV productions. His creative and experimental approach to making music allows him to combine and diversify elements from his vibrant roots in Congo and London.
Sean McGarrity - Sound Designer
Sean McGarrity is a Copenhagen based sound designer, originally from Belfast. He began his career freelancing in sound editorial and production sound, culminating in working on HBO’s Game of Thrones as a sound trainee. He then moved towards a career in post production and spent two years at the National Film and Television School studying sound design. His graduation film Dead Birds was nominated for the Student Academy Awards, Sean also personally won a Royal Television Society Award for his sound design on the film. Since graduating in 2018 Sean has worked as a freelance sound editor on multiple film and television projects including SkyOne’s Bulletproof.
Grace Bridger - Post Production Supervisor
Originally from Perth, Western Australia, London based Producer Grace Bridger works across independent short films and features. Grace has produced a number of projects alongside Writer/Director Runyararo Mapfumo as Dessymak Productions. Their short film Masterpiece premiered at BFI London Film Festival 2017 and finished the festival circuit with over a dozen official selections and nominations. She went on to develop and produce Dawn In The Dark supported by BBC Films and BFI NETWORK which premiered at BFI London Film Festival 2019. Grace then Produced Runyararo's BBC and Google Arts commissioned short Sensational Simmy which was released and broadcast on BBC and BBC iPlayer. Grace developed and secured funding from Uncertain Kingdom for Runyararo's documentary What’s In A Name? before handing over the project to another producer during her relocation to Bradford to work as Production Secretary on Clio Barnard's BBC Films and BFI supported feature film, Ali & Ava. This was part of her on-going work with producer Tracy O'Riordan at Moonspun Films as Producer's Assistant and then Assistant Producer. Previously through these roles Grace worked in post production on Hong Khaou's Monsoon and assisted Producer Tracy O'Riordan during the production of Film4's Dream Horse, starring Toni Collete and Damien Lewis. After working with Producer Fiona Lamptey (BFI Vision Award Winner) as Post Production Supervisor on the Sci-Fi short films, Grace moved into the role of Creative Assistant at Netflix in the newly formed UK Features team supporting Fiona.
Nibras Alwasiti - Hair and Makeup Designer
Having worked in the industry for over 15 years, Nibras loves the diversity that her work brings- from working on editorials, music and fashion to commercials, advertising and television she enjoys different challenges and pushing the boundaries of her own skills to create new and varied ideas in hair, make-up, and grooming.