LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: (L-R) Rory Fleck Byrne, Amir El-Masry, Josie Walker, Naqqash Khalid, Nabhaan Rizwan, Juliette Larthe and Mary Burke attend the "In Camera" screening during the 67th BFI London Film Festival at the BFI Southbank on October 13, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for BFI)
Culturalee attended UK premiere at the BFI in October as part of London Film Festival’s Debut Feature Competition, competing for the Sutherland Award which recognises the most original and imaginative directorial debut. The film received incredible press reviews following its World Premiere in the official Selection for the Proxima Competition at Karlovy Vary Film Festival in June 2023.
Naqqash Khalid’s debut feature stars Nabhaan Rizwan, Amir El-Masry and Rory Fleck Byrne was filmed in Manchester and revolves around struggling actor Aden (Nabhaan Rizwan), who embarks on a series of auditions with mixed results. Produced by Juliette Larthe (PRETTYBIRD), who developed the script with Naqqash Khalid, and by Mary Burke for Public Dreams, ‘In Camera’ is financed by BBC Film, BFI (awarding National Lottery funding) and in association with Uncommon Creative Studio. It was developed with BBC Film.
Starring Nabhaan Rizwan as a struggling actor faced with constant undertones of racism as he tries to make a career as an actor, the film is a satire of the advertising industry and film business. Rizwan’s performance is mesmerising and the film veers from humour to horror with dream-like moments of surrealism. It’s a pure rollercoaster of emotions.
‘IN CAMERA’ is a twisted contemporary urban tale centred around 20-something Aden, whose career trajectory as an actor is marred by obstacles in the form of racism from film and advertising executives at auditions, an unsettling role-playing session with a bereaved mother, and the inequality of his relationship with his flatmates. As well as themes of social and racial inequality and a commentary on the hierarchical imparity of the film industry, the film explores the life of Aden’s medic flatmate, exhausted to the point of hallucination by the punishing hours he works in a hospital, and finds comedy in the narcissistic life of his new flatmate, in supporting roles played brilliantly by Rory Fleck Byrne and Amir El-Masry.
Naqqash Khalid’s directorial debut is completely unique, intelligently scripted and full of nuanced commentary on the social and racial inequality of the film and advertising industries. Expect an unexpected Talented Mr Ripley-style plot twist at the end.
In 2020, writer-director Naqqash Khalid was named one of Screen International’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’. Khalid was selected artist for New Creatives North (funded by Arts Council England and BBC Arts) and received a Jerwood Creative Fellowship with Manchester International Festival.‘In Camera’ lead actor Nabhaan Rizwan was also spotlighted in Screen International ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, after making his screen debut in BBC/Amazon series ‘Informer’ and winning an RTS Breakthrough Award.
Producer Juliette Larthe says: “On Naqqash Khalid’s ‘IN CAMERA’, with my Producer partner Mary Burke, we got blessed by our team and the incredible support from our financiers, BBC Film, BFI and Uncommon Creative Studio with a massive shout out for BBC Film’s Eva Yates for believing in Naqqash’s vision from Day One. Naqqash Khalid is re-defining our cinema screens with his genre-smashing UK Indie First Feature film, with casting by Shaheen Baig, the screen is LIT with the glow of the exciting actors.”
Producer Mary Burke adds: “Naqqash is a radical proponent of new cinema, and with the stellar cast assembled, the film promises to deliver an absolute slap.”Eva Yates, director of BBC Film, says: “With IN CAMERA, Naqqash Khalid has exceeded his own bold ambitions for his directorial debut, along with his brilliant producers and truly outstanding cast. Naqqash is an essential component of a thrilling growing community of new filmmakers emerging out of the UK right now.”