Bullet Boy

Ashley Walters (plays Ricky)
"Ricky is a lot like myself… I could relate to him because obviously I've been to jail, although not for the same reasons, and I've grown up in a similar environment, so I brought a lot of me into the part. I think prison helped me a lot doing this role because I was able to understand the thoughts that go through your head when you come out. While you're in jail, you'd wish that the world would stop and wait for you to come out, but obviously it doesn't. So when you come out, it's very bewildering, it's overwhelming and I think it's hard to capture that feeling unless you've experienced it yourself."
        From an early age, Ashley Walters attended the renowned Sylvia Young acting school in London. He was soon appearing in stage productions with roles in Children of Eden at the Prince Edward Theatre, Oczuer at the London Palladium and a small part in the musical Oliver at the London Palladium. His television credits include the popular series The Bill (ITV), Holby City (BBC 1) and the ITV drama The Whistle Blower starring Amanda Burton. On the music front, Ashley is better known as Asher D, a member of the 30-strong south London-based collective So Solid Crew who stormed the charts with UK garage and hip hop anthems such as Oh No (Sentimental Things) (1999) and 21 Seconds (2001). Ashley wrote and featured on six tracks on So Solid's double-platinum debut LP They Don't Know which was hailed as one of the most visionary albums of the past 10 years. In 1998, Ashley received critical acclaim playing the lead role in the made-for television film Storm Damage (BBC 1), also starring Adrian Lester, while 2002 saw Ashley on stage at the National Theatre in Paul Miller's Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads. Since autumn 2004 Ashley has been filming MTV's topical new drama series, Top Buzzer, and other upcoming projects include a second solo album, a biography published later this year, and Last Rights directed by Bill Anderson.

Luke Fraser (plays Curtis)
"I enjoyed playing Curtis although I felt a bit sorry for him because his big brother got him into all this mess. My mum at first was worried because she thought the film was all guns and stuff but that's just because it's in a certain context. It's not like I go around shooting people, so in the end my mum was alright with it. The positive message of this film is don't play with guns because it's wrong and as you can tell in the film people get hurt. Don't play with guns, and don't bully people because in the end you hurt your friends, so just be friends with them and keep yourself safe."
        Luke Fraser was born on August 20, 1990 and is a newcomer to the movie industry. Casting director Des Hamilton discovered Luke at an open audition at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill. He is currently at school in London and was in Year 8 at the start of filming. Luke's favourite subjects include music and drama, he likes to write his own songs and he has appeared in a couple of school productions. He is also interested in IT and technology and enjoys working on his computer in his spare time.

Clare Perkins (plays Beverley)
"The heart of the story for me is Ricky's dilemmas because he's not a bad boy. He's not a hardcore gangster, he's not setting out to hurt people and he's got a lot of love for his mum, his brother and his girlfriend. Ricky actually wants to do the right thing, so a lot of it's about the dilemmas he finds himself in when he comes out of youth custody and how - like ripples in a pond - his choices affect everyone around him."
        Clare Perkins has worked in film, theatre, television and radio, notably in Ladybird, Ladybird, Secrets and Lies and Pigheart Boy (Bafta Best Children's Drama) and most recently the Football Factory (Vertigo Films). Clare appears regularly as Denise Boulter in the Channel 5 soap opera Family Affairs. Other TV credits include My Wonderful Life for Granada (3 Series), Men Behaving Badly (BBC), A&E (Granada), Merseybeat (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Baby Father (BBC) and Crouch (BBC). Clare has also worked for London Bubble, Contact Theatre, The Royal Court, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Young Vic amongst others and has been playing the regular character of Mel in the BBC World Service soap Westway for the last five years. Numerous other radio credits include Town & Gown (BBC Radio 4), Sundiata (BBC World Service), Ministry of Performing Arts (BBC Radio 4) and Madame Bitterfly and the Stockwell Diva (BBC Radio).

Leon Black (plays Wisdom)
"I know loads of people like Wisdom so I just have to switch onto what's going on in his head. I've got that energy, that agitated vibe, so it's not that hard to do. I think Wisdom's got a volatile personality because he ain't got no friends, Ricky's his only bredren, and when Ricky's been inside, Wisdom's just been on his own, hustling. Also he's grown up without his parents around, so he's got no guidance."
       Leon Black trained at the Anna Scher Theatre, of which he has been a member since 1988. He played the part of Motion in Deborah A. Williams' production of Motion at the Young Vic Theatre. Previous film credits include Shooters directed by Glen Durfort and Colin Teague, Face directed by Antonia Bird, Clockwork Mice and Shopping. Leon has featured in numerous television sitcoms and dramas including The Bill, London's Burning, Casualty, The Real McCoy, Desmonds, Gimme 5, Game On, In Deep, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, Jerusalem the Golden and The Last Detective. He played Stephen Lawrence in the acclaimed BBC drama The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, also starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste and based on the infamous real-life story of the black teenager murdered by a gang of racist thugs.

Curtis Walker (plays Leon)
"I really love improvisation. That's my background as a comedian and with Saul he allows you to go certain places as an actor and then brings you back to try another angle. It brings out the honesty I think, because it's lovely to have scripts written but sometimes when they do the types of subjects and scenarios that we're dealing with you miss the beat. Unless you actually live in it, breathe in it, you miss the beat. With improvisation, you're getting stuff that the actors would never have thought of. Also through rehearsals, the cast developed a positive vibe that helped with the performances…
        The character of Leon is quite subtle and soft because he grew up in the area where he runs his church. He can't afford to be false because everybody in the congregation knows him. He can't stand up in the pulpit and say I've never sinned, he has to be genuine. It's an honesty that I hope will come across because religion's always dangerous, there's always gonna be someone trying to shout you down so I'm trying to be honest and I haven't gone for the stereotypes."
        Known as "The Don" of black comedy, Curtis Walker has performed his stand-up routines in front of audiences across the UK, America, Spain, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Holland and most recently, the Middle East. As an actor, he has shared credits with Maya Angelou, (Moon On A Rainbow Shawl) and Lenny Henry (Lenny Henry Show, Now What, Almost Always Africa) and appeared in Kathy Burke's (scripted) film, The End.
        Curtis co-hosted Paramount City (BBC) and was a regular contributor to BBC comedy sketch and variety shows The Real McCoy and Blouse & Skirt. Other television credits include They Think It's All Over (BBC), Jonathan Ross (C4), Black Britain (BBC), Glastonbury 2000 (BBC), The Stand Up Show (C5) and Urban Heat (BBC). Curtis toured his own one-man show, Right Now to popular acclaim and is the voice of Carlton in the BBC TV children's comedy Kerching! Curtis received Best Male Stand-Up at the BICA and also won the top Carlton TV Multicultural Entertainment & Comedy Award. He is the face behind the NHS Organ Donor Register campaign to which 10 million people have added their names.

Sharea Mounira Samuels (plays Shea)
"Asher and I just clicked and he really talked me through a lot of scenes. I liked playing Shea because she reminded me of myself. We come from the same type of areas and I could see why she's drawn to Ricky. But at the same time she's quite strong-minded."
       Although Bullet Boy is Sharea's first professional acting role, she is an experienced performer who spent two years dancing with Stacy Cole at Dance Works Studio and as part of Paddington Arts performance group. She appears regularly in dance productions staged in her local borough of Kensington and Chelsea and has performed at the Town Hall and Tabernacle, and also the Compton Club in 2000. In 2001, she played Juliet in a local production of Romeo and Juliet. Sharea speaks conversational Arabic and French and for the past three years, she has performed in a dance show at Cannes as part of their annual Bastille Day celebrations. In 2002 she was flown out to China to dance for the singer Leslie Loh in Shanghai and Taiwan. Other credits include performing alongside the dance group 20/20 for the Prince's Trust at the Royal Albert Hall in 2000.

Saul Dibb - Director
"I think there's a lot of humour in the film. Even if dark things or tragic things happen, they happen to people who've got a lot of life in them, who've got a lot of intelligence and energy and so I hope it doesn't feel that bleak."
       Born in London in 1968, Saul Dibb has worked primarily as an award-winning and controversial documentary filmmaker. His many projects include the BBC2 series about shoplifters, Lifters, life on the streets of inner city London, Electric Avenue and the notorious Tottenham Ayatollah about a British Islamic fundamentalist (both for Channel Four). He also directed the short dramatic film Payday, for the UK Film Council Short Channel Award. Bullet Boy is Saul's feature film debut.

Marcel Zyskind (Director of Photography)
"[Bullet Boy] is about human beings, about real things. It's not science fiction or wild action, it's not Hollywood. I like to do films that have a point, that have something to say and are not just visually beautiful."
       Marcel Zyskind hails from Denmark and has worked on more than 10 European films. He made his entry into UK films providing additional camera work on indie hits such as 28 Days Later and 24 Hour Party People. Marcel developed his trademark intimate style of shooting while working with Michael Winterbottom as director of photography on his films Code 46, In This World and 9 Songs. He was nominated for a 2003 European Film Award in the category of European Cinematographer for his work on In This World, which also won top awards at the Berlin Film Festival.

  Marc Boothe - Producer
"It's a sad fact that some kids can no longer express themselves through words, resulting in the use of weapons to settle the score. A film like this is important to show how a life can be taken simply because of a misunderstanding, where saying sorry is no longer enough."
       Marc Boothe joined the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund as production executive in March 2004. As the founder of b3 media - a non-profit media arts agency, Boothe has been responsible for a number of innovative initiatives ranging from new media to digital cinema. He also set up and ran Digital Diaspora, a new media arts project responsible for ground breaking projects such as the "Digital Slam", a series of live 'networked' events with DJ's, VJ's, musicians and spoken word artists from London, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
        Boothe is also one of the UK's leading specialists in urban film exhibition, film marketing, and distribution. He has worked with Universal International Pictures (UIP), Buena Vista International (BVI), Columbia Tri-Star, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. among others on various film campaigns. As producer of the digital short film initiative 23:59 Short Film Challenge, Boothe gathered together more than 200 filmmakers to make a short film in under 24 hours, which resulted in the creation of over 100 short films. Boothe has recently been working on the launch of a media arts space, a digital filmmaking initiative partnered by the UK Film Council, London Arts, and d:code - an online resource for 'Decibel', the Arts Council's cultural diversity initiative.

  Ruth Caleb - Producer
"Working with Saul has been exciting because he has a passion and a clear idea of what he wants. Documentary makers are natural authors, they don't interpret writers so it's almost like with European filmmakers, they are the auteurs. But ultimately Bullet Boy is a team effort. It's a unit of highly professional, really skilled people and it's great seeing everyone come together on something that they believe is important."
       Ruth Caleb studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and spent four years working as an actor before joining the BBC, in 1965, as an assistant floor manager. She has been with the BBC ever since, moving on to work as a production manager and then a director, before becoming a producer in 1979. In 1989 she was appointed Executive Producer BBC Wales Drama, and two years later became the BBC's first-ever female head of drama when she was appointed Head of BBC Wales Drama. After a period as acting Head of Drama Group, BBC TV, Ruth returned to producing. Ruth's extensive list of credits as a producer includes Pawel Pawlikowski's Last Resort, shown at the Venice Film Festival; the BAFTA winning When I Was 12; Prix Italia and BAFTA winning Care; critically acclaimed The Other Boleyn Girl; and Red Dust. As an Executive producer her credits include The Old Devils, Sex and Chocolate starring Dawn French, Judge John Deed for BBC1 and Shooting Dogs, a theatrical film directed by Michael Caton-Jones. Among Ruth's best known productions are The Lost Language of Cranes, a BAFTA nominee and the winner of the San Francisco Golden Gate Award, and Tomorrow La Scala!, which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard Section). In 2001 she received both the Alan Clarke BAFTA for Outstanding Personal Creative Contribution to Television, the Columbia Tristar Award by Women in Film for Contribution to the Medium and in 2004, an OBE for services to drama.