Britain’s new film talent

Meet the young actors and directors behind Britain's best new films

The 2011 BFI London Film Festival is overflowing with up-and-coming talent, from writers and directors to the screen stars of tomorrow. Dave Calhoun and David Jenkins profile some of those involved in four inventive new British features, 'Wuthering Heights', 'Junkhearts', 'Weekend' and 'Sket'.

Nirpal Bhogal is the director of London-set girl-gang film, 'Sket' Nirpal Bhogal is the director of London-set girl-gang film, 'Sket' - Portrait: Rob Greig

Nirpal Bhogal, director of 'Sket'

’Twenty-eight-year-old debut writer-director Nirpal Bhogal, who grew up in east London, is on a mission to give some depth and feeling back to British genre cinema. Headhunted by producers on the back of his Ray Winstone-starring anti knife-crime short, ‘Cold Kiss’, he was given 14 months to make a film about inner-city female gangs, the result of which was the impressive ‘Sket’, which comes to cinemas next month.

Bhogal hit the streets to research his film, talking to gang members and ex-offenders to get his facts straight. But it’s not a film that preaches and parades one-note archetypes. ‘I did early drafts where I hammered the points home, but I saw that it doesn’t work. No one appreciates that. The challenge was to create this film for a target audience who are intelligent and savvy. It’s always tempting to go very “street” with the style of the dialogue, but that’s just not how it is. It turns the film into a novelty, and I didn’t want that.’

Bhogal’s next project is a comedy set in the porn industry, though he has a keen interest in making a film that’s pure performance and minimal dialogue. As such, the London Film Festival title he’s looking forward to the most is Michel Hazanavicius’s silent film homage, ‘The Artist’.

Read our review of 'Sket'