Raya Films address both gender split and ageism with their maverick female-driven thriller, ‘Agent Kelly’, an edgy, radical, street-shooting production with a style that echoes ‘Tangerine’ and ‘El Mariachi’.

Two countries. One crew member. No budget.

A female assassin who avenged the killing of a friend now becomes the hunted.


Raya Films (Writing)

In the wake of sexism and ageism faced by women in the film industry on both sides of the Atlantic, UK-based Raya Films have released Agent Kelly, an experimental thriller that introduces a central female character who is neither young, a martial arts guru, nor possesses superhuman qualities.

“I think female audiences will identify with Agent Kelly, and it seems USA audiences in particular are embracing this angle as the film is trending on TUBI in a way we never expected or could even hope for!” Explains Caroline Spence, who both produces and stars as an ageing assassin who becomes the hunted after avenging the brutal murder of a colleague, “She’s a real woman, with the first flush of youth very much behind her. She has real flaws, but is someone who is strong and fit and stands up to those who threaten or harm her sisters in crime”.

With a mix of humour, action and drama, Agent Kelly was shot predominantly in Andalucía, Spain. It’s a visually compelling and experimental film that melds city sophistication with harsh desert environment. A little like the Bourne franchise, much of its appeal lies in the character locations and varying backdrops. With Spence and director, James Smith, pretty much comprising the entire cast and crew, the handheld sequences and street shooting crank up the realism and edgy atmosphere that pervades the whole film. As a result, there are echoes of the run-and-gun style of Sean Baker’s Tangerine, in an environment reminiscent of El Mariachi and documentary realism of End Of Watch.

Agent Kelly tells the story of an assassin, a trained killer and experimental chemist who specialises in poison. After learning of the brutal rape and murder of her young colleague, Sam, Kelly allows an inner rage to take hold and breaks protocol by killing one of the murderers – part of a gang of organised crime professionals who inhabit Europe’s dark underworld. Now the remaining gang members turn their attention to Kelly.

Ignoring desperate phone calls from her superior, urging her to allow his agency to protect her, Kelly goes on the run and flees to Spain where she attempts to ride out the storm… without success. As her pursuers move ever closer, Kelly needs to draw on radical ingenuity to stay alive, and taps into any opportunity to keep one step ahead of capture and a fate worse than death.

Agent Kelly is now available on a number of streaming platforms, including TUBI and Apple TV.


With a background of producing documentaries and grassroots lo/no-budget features, Raya Films have firmly established themselves on the ‘indie’ scene, not least due to their social media activities and packed-out film screenings. Their storytelling is often edgy and offbeat, and complemented by dynamic visuals and sound design.

This has positioned Raya Films to move forward with a slate of high-profile original movies and attaching professional talent, whilst continuing to maintain their uniqueness of writing and approach to independent filmmaking.

June 9, 2022 11:07am ET by Raya Films (Writing)  

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