Multiple award-winning and two-times BAFTA and GRAMMY® nominated filmmaker, director, writer and social activist Penny Woolcock (Tina Goes Shopping, Shakespeare on The Estate, Ackley Bridge, The Death of Klinghoffer) has teamed up with production company Fan Studios to create the film ‘TRAPPING’ – a brutally honest fictional portrayal of the distressing reality of county lines in the UK.
‘TRAPPING’ will premiere on 15 September on brand new pay-per-view streaming platform THE DROP which will launch on the same day. Watch the trailer here
THE DROP is the brainchild of Fan Studios founders, British directors, actors and Grime pioneers, Femi Oyeniran (Kidulthood) and Nicky ‘Slimting’ Walker. Supported by the British Film Institute, ground-breaking platform THE DROP is dedicated to serving minority and underrepresented audiences globally and promoting independent and upcoming talent in the British TV and Film Industries.
‘TRAPPING’, directed and written by Penny Woolcock, was filmed between economically deprived areas of London and Kent and stars upcoming actors Louis Ede (who plays leading character Daz), Aaliyah Gohir (who plays Maryam), C-Biz (who plays Bigger Man), Femi Oyeniran (who plays Wole), Nicky Walker, (who plays Slim Man), and Drill group OFB.
It also sees MOBO award winning British Rapper Abra Cadabra (who plays leading county line gang member, Magic) cast in his first ever acting role. Hailing from Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham London, Abra Cadabra weaves his lived personal experience into his debut acting role to deliver a powerful and authentic performance.
Abra Cadabra says: ‘The movie speaks for itself, it’s got a message behind it, it’s an insight into what you could be getting yourself into trying to go down that road. If it’s not your portion, don’t go for it. It shouldn’t be for anyone‘.
‘TRAPPING’ delves deep into the less-explored world of ‘going county’ or OT (out of town), where children (as young as 6 years old) and teenagers are being groomed by county line gangs to carry and sell drugs, move far away from their homes, skip school, sleep in out-of-town ‘trap houses’/ drug dens, keep secrets from their loved ones, and become trapped in a hopeless situation.
It follows the story of a likable and relatable London-based teenager called Daz, who sees dealing drugs as a route to easy cash to help his struggling family. As Daz becomes more involved in a county lines gang and is taken under the wing of lead member Magic, he is coerced into moving to Margate in Kent where he is thrust into scenarios that are completely out of his hands, forcing him to do things he never imagined – just to survive. Laced with shocking imagery and harrowing scenes that are brought to life through the outstanding performances of the cast, the film proves an uncomfortable watch and sends a warning message that is likely to stay with its audience.
The subject matter couldn’t be more urgent considering The National Crime Agency has identified county lines as ‘the most frequently identified form of coerced criminality, with children representing the vast majority of victims’. While The Children’s Society have reported that 46,000 children in England (with 4,000 teenagers being criminally exploited in London alone), and 90% of English police forces have seen county lines activity and the violence is getting worse while 4 in 5 parents are worried about county lines in their local area.
The situation has been further exacerbated by the recent rise of children reported missing from school and the rapidly increasing deprivation felt by youth nationwide. With recent reports highlighting that one in five pupils in England were persistently arriving in school hungry during the last school year, and Children’s Charities stating that one in three children were living in poverty in the UK in 2021/2022, and around 350,000 more children were pushed into poverty last year.
Beyond exploring the drug-riddled underbelly of county lines gangs, ‘TRAPPING’ homes in on themes of drug addiction, poverty, and squalor evident across Britain today.
The pioneering launch of new platform THE DROP is powered by innovative technology from cutting edge web3 company, TokenTraxx, to give fans exclusive access and experiences via a series of digital collectibles and NFTs, providing the perfect platform for premiering this hard-hitting, timely British made film.
Fan Studios founders Femi Oyeniran and Nicky ‘Slimting’ Walker say; ‘TRAPPING transports the viewer into the ‘traphouse’ in a way that has never been seen before. We’ve always taken an innovative approach to all our film releases, and the launch of THE DROP continues that trend. As streaming wars take centre stage and platforms like Netflix zero in on using megastars to reach new audiences, newer talent and filmmakers will struggle to find a home for their content. THE DROP provides a ground-breaking global platform that will allow them to reach their audience and deliver access to exclusive content currently unavailable elsewhere.’
Director Penny Woolcock adds; ‘I am very excited about the release of Trapping, a unique film young people will actually want to watch. Introducing Louis Ede and the charismatic drill star Abra Cadabra with his mouthful of diamonds, this is a roller coast ride, taking you deep into a world hiding in plain sight, right there on the edges of our cities and small towns. Easy to get into and impossible to leave.’
Trapping will be available to view September 15th