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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

London Screening #3: Run

Olivia Colman plays Carol in Acme Films' new drama, Run

Our series of London screenings have so far caused collective intakes of breath and laughs aplenty, but this Monday’s Roundhouse audience were the quietest yet - utterly captivated by Acme Films’ new drama for Channel 4, Run. Set in south London, Run first follows Carol (played by Olivia Colman), a mother to two troublesome teenage boys. A random act of violence sets a chain of events in motion which underpins the whole series in a domino movement of cause and effect. This is a drama about the people you pass in the street, you recognise from the world around you, and how we’re all connected. Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan, one of Run’s two writers, explained that it offers ‘a glimpse into four of the different worlds that make up London’.

Fajemisin-Duncan and his writing partner, Marlon Smith, met at sixth form college in south London where they also befriended Jonathan Pearson, director of episodes 3 and 4. Having been making short films for a number of years, they’d originally set out to make Run as an internet drama, and approached Jaimie D’Cruz, owner of Acme Films, with the idea. That was five years ago. ‘What took so long?’ asked our chair for the evening, Neil Midgley. D’Cruz told the audience he put the project on hold and told the two writers to take their time. Not content with this, they went off and made their own pilot. Channel 4 read the script and it evolved from there into the bigger project that it is today. D’Cruz admitted that Channel 4 took a big risk, by investing in unknown writers, but he described the script as so exceptional it wasn’t surprising that the channel wanted to turn it into a primetime drama. Colman agreed about the script adding, ‘Women don’t write well for women at the moment. And a lot of people still don’t think it’s appealing to have a female lead’. So it was refreshing for her to play the part of Carol, written by two young men.

For the team behind Run, many of whom have been 
Marlon Smith and Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan
friends for years, there was a visible sense of pride in their achievement. They were ‘over the moon’ to finally see their project on screen. A member of the audience asked how they kept their motivation going for five years, and they admitted it was hard with times when they nearly gave up. But, as Fajemisin-Duncan explained, they had something to say and that became easier as people start believing in them.

So that concludes our London screenings series. And what a series it’s been! We’d like to thank all involved for making it such a great success. And eyes peeled for the next events!

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