Antonio Aakeel heads home for Eaten By Lions premiere at Birmingham Indian Film Festival
The promising young talent from Wolves – now based between Birmingham and London – Antonio’s inclusion was on the merit of the number of incredibly intense and striking roles he had been racking up in the last year; a leap from his previous advertising, theatre and occasional TV work.
In the short time between then and now, Aakeel has starred in feature film City of Tiny Lights alongside Riz Ahmed and Billie Piper, appeared in the critically acclaimed BBC drama Three Girls, an award-winning episode of Moving On, had a starring role in Indo-Brit Shakespeare film adaptation The Hungry alongside veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah; and been back on the big screen in this year’s summer blockbuster Tomb Raider reboot, playing Nitin Ahuja opposite Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft.
Not only has the young thespian filmed across continents over the last twelve months, but he’s even managed to squeeze in a comedy role in Guz Khan’s BBC Three show Man Like Mobeen, and has recently wrapped up months of filming in southern Spain for independent film Granada Nights.
It’s no surprise then that he’s returning home this month for the Midlands premiere of his latest flick Eaten by Lions, which has already been highly praised at its Edinburgh Film Festival debut, and at festival screenings in London.
Playing the co-lead, Antonio’s latest flick is a feel-good British-comedy written and directed by Jason Wingard, and starring Johnny Vegas and Jack Carroll.
The film also stars Asim Chaudhry, Vicki Pepperdine, Kevin Eldon, Nitin Ganatra, and fellow Brummie Janice Connolly.
A feature-length adaptation of the director’s 2013 short film ‘Going to Mecca’, Eaten by Lions follows half-brothers Omar – played by Antonio Aakeel – and Pete (Jack Carroll) as they embark on a journey to find Omar’s estranged father, confronting him on the day of his daughter’s engagement party.
It’s essentially a laugh out loud and wryly written British comedy about two half-brothers who after their parents were accidentally killed by lions in a safari park are in search for family care. While one brother Pete, of English parentage, gets foisted on his controlling English aunty, the other brother Omar travels to the fabled holiday resort of Blackpool in search of his real Asian orthodox Muslim dad.
Continuing with their national tour, Antonio, his co-stars and director Jason Wingard will be attending a screening of the film at the mac Birmingham on Friday 29 June, which will include a special Q&A session with cast and crew.
The event is being held as part of the Birmingham Indian Film Festival, showcasing a new and exciting selection of cutting-edge independent films that are guaranteed to entertain and offer fascinating insights into South Asian lives.
The Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF) is on at venues across the city until July 1. For more details, visit: www.birminghamindianfilmfestival.co.uk