Michaela Coel leads cast of London-set musical Been So Long

Principal photography has started on Been So Long, a modern day love story set on the streets of Camden and shooting across London. The soundtrack will be a diverse mix of RnB, Nu Soul, UK dance and cinematic orchestration, featuring music from up and coming guest producers.

Based on the critically acclaimed stage musical by Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill that premiered at The Young Vic, the feature will be directed by Tinge Krishnan (Junkhearts), who was awarded a BAFTA for her short film Shadowscan. The project has been developed for the screen by BAFTA-nominated producers Nadine Marsh-Edwards (Bhaji on the Beach, Young Soul Rebels) and Amanda Jenks (The Girl, An Englishman in York), who together run Greenacre Films.

Been So Long was developed by the BFI and production is co-financed by the BFI and Film4, with executive producers Lizzie Francke, Eva Yates, Jane Wright and Indira Guha. Fabien Westerhoff's Film Constellation is handling international sales

Star-of-the-moment Michaela Coel, who wowed critics and audiences in her BAFTA-winning performance as Tracey in Channel 4’s comedy Chewing Gum, plays Simone – a young, spirited, single minded mum with the soul of a poet. She leads the exciting principal cast alongside Arinzé Kene (The Pass, One Night in Miami ) as the seductive Raymond; BAFTA EE Rising Star nominee George Mackay (Captain Fantastic, Pride) who plays broken-hearted fantasist Gil; and Ronke Adekoluejo (Chewing Gum, Cold Feet), who completes the quartet of unwitting star-crossed lovers, as Simone’s gutsy, happy-go-lucky best friend Yvonne. 
Completing the all-singing, all-dancing cast is an impressive line-up, including Ashley Thomas (24, Top Boy), Joe Dempsie (Game Of Thrones, Skins), Luke Norris (Poldark, The Duchess), Rakie Ayola (Dredd, No Offence) and introducing Mya Lewis (Olaf’s Quest).
Tinge Krishnan, Director of Been So Long said: 

To be part of the team bringing Che and Arthur’s stage musical to the big screen is a truly exciting challenge. The cast and crew we have are by far the best team we could have assembled to do this justice. So much creativity has come from the rehearsal process and we are energised to have the cameras rolling. 

Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks of Greenacre Films said: 

Seeing Been So Long start shooting this week has been a huge highlight for Greenacre Films. The time planning with our partners during development and prep has been a rewarding process and led us to a confident start of principal photography. We couldn’t be happier to have the immensely talented Tinge Krishnan directing such an incredible cast and we are looking forward to the rest of the shoot. 


Romance, rage and revenge. Been So Long is a neon soaked, modern day romance set on the streets of London’s musical hot-bed of Camden. We follow Simone (Michaela Coel), a dedicated single mother who, on a rare night on the town is charmed by a handsome yet troubled stranger (Arinze Kene); igniting old and new feelings. Set against the backdrop of an ever-changing city, Been So Long is a fresh take on love, life and moving on.

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About the BFI

With over £50 million of Lottery funding to invest each year, the BFI is the UK's largest public investor in film, and the BFI Film Fund supports first-class British filmmaking from talent and project development, through production, to audience development across exhibition, distribution and international sales.

Films supported by the BFI include last year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner and BAFTA-winning I, Daniel Blake directed by Ken Loach and the Jury Prize award-winning and BAFTA-nominated American Honey by filmmaker Andrea Arnold; Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom and Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, the opening and closing galas respectively at last year’s BFI London Film Festival; James Spinney and Peter Middleton’s BAFTA-nominated Notes on Blindness; and the recently released Viceroy’s House from Gurinder Chadha, which celebrated its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival and was released in the UK on 3 March.

Highly anticipated films backed by the BFI include Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire set for release on 31 March Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country, winner of the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic its at Sundance 2017 and screened in Panorama at Berlin; Pete Travis’ City of Tiny Lights due for release 7 April .William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth due for release on 28 April; Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete; Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not A Witch; Clio Barnard’s Dark River; Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here; Andy Serkis’ Breathe; Sophie Fiennes’ Grace Jones - The Musical of My Life; Nick Park’s Early Man; Paddy Considine’s Journeyman; Lucy Cohen’s Fly Away; Michael Pearce’s Beast; Peter Mackie Burns’ Daphne; Hope Dickson Leach’s The Levelling; Thomas Clay’s Fanny Lye Delivr’d; Haifaa Al Mansour’s A Storm in the Stars; Mercedes Grower’s Brakes; and

The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema 
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations 
  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK - investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work 
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world 
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

bfi.org.uk (opens in a new window) / @bfi (opens in a new window)


Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, whether new or established. 

Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®-winners such as Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and David Mackenzie’s Starred Up.

Film4’s recent releases include Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, Susanna White’s Our Kind of Traitor, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster and Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years. Forthcoming releases include Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, Benedict Andrews’ Una, Adam Smith’s Trespass Against Us and Baltasar Kormákur’s The Oath. Films in production include Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Michael Pearce’s Beast, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Paddy Considine’s Journeyman, John Cameron Mitchell’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Toby MacDonald’s Old Boys, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene, and Asif Kapadia’s Maradona. Forthcoming productions include Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Bart Layton’s American Animals and Mike Leigh’s Peterloo.

For further information visit www.film4.com/productions (opens in a new window)


Based in London and founded in 2016 by international film executive Fabien Westerhoff, Film Constellation offers bespoke international financing & worldwide licensing services. Built upon a track record for growing award winning filmmaker brands, it is a destination of expression for trusted filmmakers and emerging new talent, embracing new distribution channels, globally. Film Constellation’s current slate includes British comedy Double Date; David Lynch event documentary The Art Life preceding the director’s new Twin Peaks season this year; and Scandinavian horror hit Lake Bodom.

March 21, 2017 9:00am ET by Channel 4   Comments (0)

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