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Cast announced for Dionne Edwards’ Pretty Red Dress

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Teng Teng Films, in collaboration with the BFI, BBC Film, and the Sundance Institute, today announce casting for PRETTY RED DRESS, the highly-anticipated first feature film written and directed by Screen International Star of Tomorrow Dionne Edwards (We Love Moses, That Girl ). World sales on PRETTY RED DRESS are being handled by Protagonist Pictures.

Leading the cast of PRETTY RED DRESS is rising theatre star Natey Jones (Rockets and Blue Lights, Small Island); singer and West End actress Alexandra Burke (The Bodyguard, Sister Act) in her first screen role and new talent Temilola Olatunbosun.

PRETTY RED DRESS is the story of a South London family and how their lives revolve around one red dress. Newly released from prison, Travis (played by Natey Jones) buys the dress for his girlfriend Candice (played by Alexandra Burke), to audition for a musical about 1960s music, but is soon powerfully drawn to it himself. When Candice and their teenage daughter Kenisha (played by Temilola Olatunbosun) find Travis wearing the dress, it sends the family spinning. Subverting typical representations of Black masculinity, PRETTY RED DRESS is a romantic, funny and uplifting film shot through with the energy of music from The Chiffons, Tina Turner, The Shangri-Las and more. 

Filming took place in London over 8 weeks this spring. Produced by Georgia Goggin (The Uncertain Kingdom) with Bennett McGhee as Executive Producer, talent behind the camera also includes Hair and Make Up Designer Billie McKenzie (Haircut, The Arrival), Production Designer Phoebe Platman (The Arrival, Time of Their Lives), Director of Photography Adam Scarth (Pure, Brandy & Coke), Musical Director and Composer Hugo Brijs (We Love Moses, That Girl) and Strictly Come Dancing’s Johannes Radebe as Choreographer.

Director Dionne Edwards reflected, “The dress sparks a deeply personal journey for each of the characters as Travis, Candice and Kenisha grapple with the disparity between what the world says they’re supposed to be and who they really are. It’s been wonderful to work with both new and experienced talent in the making of Pretty Red Dress. Natey, Alexandra and Temilola worked as an extraordinary trio to deliver a bold and dynamic vision for the film.”

Producer Georgia Goggin added, “We have been so fortunate to have the support of BBC Film, the BFI and the Sundance Institute; they all spotted Dionne’s talent, understood her vision and helped us make the film we want to make, the way we want to make it. We couldn’t have asked for better partners.”

Luane Gauer, Protagonist Pictures’ Head of Acquisitions continued, “Pretty Red Dress invites us all to celebrate the beauty of the human spirit unconstrained by social and gender conventions. We are honoured to be working with Dionne, who is such a unique and powerful new voice! We are huge fans of her previous work and are excited for distributors and audiences to be inspired by this shining gem of a film.”

Eva Yates, BBC Film and Farhana Bhula, BFI said,“Throughout the development and production process we’ve been excited by Dionne’s unique vision,and Pretty Red Dress promises a fresh perspective on a family drama; poignant, bold and funny. We’re very pleased to be part of such an original and ambitious debut from Teng Teng Films.”

The film was produced with the support of the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery) and BBC Film, in association with Magellanic Media Limited with support from Great Point Media. It was developed with support from BBC Film, the BFI and the Sundance Institute.

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