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Cannes: First Look at British Musical ‘Been So Long’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Filming has wrapped on modern-day musical “Been So Long” in London. The film, which London-based international sales company Film Constellation will introduce to buyers at the Cannes Film Market, stars BAFTA winning actress Michaela Coel.

Described by Film Constellation’s founder and CEO Fabien Westerhoff as a “refreshing new musical, exploring desire and ambition from a female perspective,” “Been So Long” is the sophomore feature from director Tinge Krishnan. Krishnan won a BAFTA Film Award in 2001 for her short film “Shadowscan” and made her feature debut with 2011’s “Junkhearts,” starring Eddie Marsan.

A modern day romance set in London’s Camden, “Been So Long” sees Coel star as a dedicated single mother who, on an unusual night on the town, is charmed by a handsome yet troubled stranger, played by Arinzé Kene. It was developed by Greenacre Film and the BFI, which co-financed the film with Film4, from an original play by Che Walker and ‎”Legends of Tomorrow” actor Arthur Darvill. It is produced by Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks for Greenacre. Lizzie Francke and Eva Yates serve as executive producers on behalf of the BFI and Film4, respectively.

Coel is a rapidly rising British star following the success of her hit comedy “Chewing Gum,” which she created, writes and stars in. She won a BAFTA Television Award in April for best female performance in a comedy program for the show, which airs on E4 in the U.K. and Netflix in the U.S. “Been So Long” marks her first lead role in a movie following a supporting role in sci-fi sequel “Monsters: Dark Continent.”

“Captain Fantastic’s” George MacKay, who previously starred in 2013 British musical “Sunshine on Leith,” and “Game of Thrones” actor Joe Dempsie co-star in the new musical. Kene stars in Netflix’s horror comedy “Crazyhead” and was recently seen in British drama “The Pass,” alongside Russell Tovey.

The film’s soundtrack will feature original tracks composed by Christopher Nicholas Bangs, influenced by the backdrop of London’s historic music scene, ranging from Caribbean Soca and soul jazz, to punk and acid house.

“‘Been So Long’s’ blend of talent and distinctive British sound makes for an exciting take on the musical genre and what makes London so unique,” says Westerhoff.

Film Constellation is handling worldwide sales on “Been So Long” and will screen first footage from the film to buyers in Cannes. The company adds the musical to a slate that also includes Rory Kennedy’s documentary “Take Every Wave,” about American surfing legend Laird Hamilton; romantic comedy “Permission,” starring Rebecca Hall and Dan Stevens; British horror comedy “Double Date”; Scandinavian horror film “Lake Bodom”; and Jon Nguyen and Rick Barnes’ David Lynch documentary “David Lynch: The Art Life.”

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