Film challenging Essex girls stereotype makes BFI shortlist

A new short film challenging the much-maligned Essex girl stereotype has been shortlisted at a prestigious UK screen festival.

Essex Girls is nominated for best short film award at the British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival.

The coming-of-age comedy drama is based on the lead actor's teenage years growing up in Benfleet and it was filmed in Southend-on-Sea.

The film's producer said the team was "thrilled".

Angela Moneke said: "It's been fantastic to see the film resonate with audiences and we look forward to bringing it to an even bigger platform through the London Film Festival."

Hadleigh Castle in Essex, pictured from Two Tree Island
The film is based around actress Busayo Ige's formative years growing up in Benfleet near Hadleigh (pictured) and is filmed in Southend-on-Sea

The film is directed by Yero Timi-Biu and stars Busayo Ige, as well as Maisie Smith and Corinna Brown.

The BFI Network, Surgent Studios, Screen South and Fully Focused financed the production, while Essex County Council and the National Lottery also provided grants.

Ms Moneke added: "We were keen to playfully challenge notions of who could fit into the Essex girl trope.

"We rarely dissect blackness outside London on screen and there's an intimacy to stories about identity that we find in these regional spaces."

The festival takes place 4-15 October and the film will be screened on the BFI Player throughout.

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