Urban British smash-hits like Kidulthood and Adulthood have created stars out of ordinary street kids. Revolver Entertainment (distributor of Kidulthood) has now teamed up with the social networking site Bebo and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a unique initiative to search for talented individuals who can not only act but also bust some moves on the dance floor and master a ball on the basketball court. The winning contestants will go on to take the lead roles in Freestyle, a British urban drama set in the competitive world of freestyle basketball.
Regional auditions will be held throughout January in London (10th), Manchester (17th) and Birmingham (18th), and lucky contestants who impress the judges will be invited to compete in the grand finals, which take place in London on the 24th January.
The “Search For A Star” competition will be judged by a panel of experts that includes Kolton Lee (Freestyle director and ex-professional basketball player), Kenrick “H20” Sandy (ace choreographer who has worked with the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Misteeq, Sugababes, Big Brovas and Fergie) and a special celebrity guest.
The NBA, which has made a long-term commitment to grow the game of basketball in the UK, will support “Search for a Star” by providing audition venues, talent scouts and basketball product for participants.
Kolton Lee, director of Freestyle said: "Basketball is the fastest growing sport in the UK and extremely popular with urban youths. Freestyle shows urban youth culture in the UK as it really is and we are keen for the cast of the film to reflect this. We are not just looking for actors but for young people who can relate to the subject matter, and we hope that Freestyle will provide a unique opportunity for their voices to be heard."
Freestyle has been financed by Film London, BBC Films and the UK Film Council, and will be released in the UK in autumn 2009 by Revolver Entertainment.
FREESTYLE – The Movie 17 year old Ondene is beautiful, talented, and all set to study law at Oxford if her domineering mother, Hyacinth, has anything to do with it.
When she falls for Leon – a charming and charismatic freestyle basketball player, whose rough council estate background is worlds away from Ondene’s posh private school – he teaches her how to freestyle and persuades her to enter a local competition. Leon dreams of going to university, and the £15,000 prize money will be his passport to a new life…
When Hyacinth finds out about Ondene and Leon, she forbids them from seeing each other. With the freestyle finals looming, not to mention her A-level exams, Ondene has to make some tough decisions about her family, education, and the man she loves…
Who we’re looking for:
ONDENE MARCHANT (aged 17) A beautiful and smart girl from a wealthy background who’s happy to follow her mother’s rules until she falls in love with Leon and discovers the world of freestyle basketball. Role requirements: Mixed-race girl, playing aged 17. Good basketball skills essential, freestyle and dance skills preferred.
PRUNELLA (aged 18) Leon’s ex-girlfriend and Ondene’s rival both on and off the court. She works in a record shop, has bags of attitude and wicked freestyle skills to match. Role requirements: Afro-Caribbean female, playing age 18. Good freestyle skills essential.
MAN-MAN (aged 18) One of Leon’s best friends, Man-Man is Afro-Caribbean and an ace freestyler. He’s well built and athletic and gets called Man-Man because he’s so tall! Role requirements: Afro-Caribbean male, playing age 18. Must be over 6ft, athletic build and have strong freestyle skills.
EXTRAS/SUPPORTING ROLES Role Requirements: No age or race restrictions. Must have basketball skills