The central performance of Roger Jean Nsengiyumva as Jumah, a Congolese ex-child soidier, makes Sixteen a film of great interest. Jumah now lives in London with his adoptive mother Laura (Rachel Stirling). He attends secondary school, has a girlfriend Chloe (Rosie Day), but is still haunted by his violent past. Memories are re-ignited when he and a friend witness the stabbing of a man in an underpass, which poses a moral dilemma for the troubled and vulnerable Jumah. (Cert 15)
Dir: Rob Brown 80 mins UK 2013
We welcome Susannah Brough, Art Director of Sixteen, to give us an insight into her work on this film.
UK 2013 80mins Cert 15
We welcome Susannah Brough, to introduce this screening of her first feature as Art Director.
Susannah’s previous credits include the short films Tokophobia (2012), Stephen Fingleton’s Shirin (2012) and Giles Andrews’ Love+1 (2011). She has worked in the art department of a number of other films, including Michael Pearce’s BAFTA nominated short Keeping Up with the Joneses (2013). Her most recent film credit is the production of poster artwork for Charles Henri Belleville’s yet to be released thriller, Jet Trash (2015).
The teenage protagonist of Sixteen, Jumah (played by Roger Jean Nsengiyumva (Africa United (2010)), has ambitions of becoming a hairdresser as soon as he leaves school. However, after witnessing a shocking event, his memories of being a child soldier in war-torn Congo are triggered. For better or worse, violence has returned to Jumah’s life, meaning he must decide whether to report the incident or not.
Sixteen was director Rob Brown’s debut feature, having previously worked on short films before making tonight’s film. Having premiered at the London Film Festival in 2013, where it was nominated for the Best British Newcomer Award, the film went on to be nominated for the British Film Institute’s Best Debut Feature Sutherland Award, and subsequently received a nomination at the 2014 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Acknowledgements: IMDB.com; BritFlicks.com; Little White Lies; Freda Cooper, wordpress.com,
Roboapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk; Christian Science Monitor
“One of the, admittedly many, pleasures of being a film critic is discovering new talent, especially when it’s home grown. The latest name on my list is British director Rob Brown, hitherto known for shorts and who now ventures into feature films with his first offering, Sixteen. […] as an age, sixteen is supposed to be a turning point but Sixteen the film shows us something much more fundamental.”
Freda Cooper, The Coops Review (FredaCooper.wordpress.com)
Jumah – Roger Jean Nsengiyumva
Laura – Rachael Stirling
Chloe – Rosie Day
Josh – Fady Elsayed
Liam – Sam Spruell
Director – Rob Brown
Producers – Jake Hume, Nic Jeune
Screenplay – Rob Brown
Cinematography – Justin Brown
Art Director – Susannah Brough
“Brilliant film. What a wonderful idea to invite Susannah!”
“Pure tension on a DVD! Absolutely gripping from beginning to end.”
“With exceptional central performances and lovely music, this film was a gripping, if low budget, drama that deserves to be seen by many more people than did so on its initial release. Susannah Brough’s wisdom on the community spirit in making the film was fascinating.”
“A gripping portrayal of a damaged hero getting mired (in trouble) even more deeply. The Q&A session was informative and of the right duration.”
“Deserved award winner, done on a fairly low budget. A good story, well acted by the principal players.”
“Quite a hard watch in parts but a very well told story from our times. Very interesting talk from Susannah.”
“Nice clear speaker”
“Stunning, skilful but above all, hopeful”
“A bleak and harrowing film but some glimmer of hope at the end. Pity about the usual incoherent, mumbling dialogue of modern films.”
“A very good film – thank you”
“I found the film too intense.”
“My problem with the film was that the boy in the brightly lit underpass would not have been see someone on the outside, so it all fell apart.”
“I’m afraid for me, this was inarticulate guff. Slow moving and barely watchable. When they did talk, you couldn’t understand.”