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Stars attend London premiere of Bilston filmmaker's groundbreaking interactive movie

Top Boy actors and rappers attended a London premiere of a film set in West Bromwich.

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DJ Theo Johnson, Luke Cato, Ashley Chin and Shone Romulus

The film, Lawrence, is an interactive urban drama which uses mobile tech to steer vulnerable young people away from a life of crime - and its executive producer was Bilston's Luke Cato.

VIP guests in Leicester Square included award-winning actor and screenwriter Ashley Chin, actor Shone Romulus, Grime artist RA and BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Theo Johnson.

Immersed in Lawrence’s world, audience members made critical decisions for the college student desperately trying to balance his dreams of becoming a rapper with his urgent need for fast money and the temptation towards the criminal underworld.

Lawrence is the brainchild of It’s On You Entertainment founder Luke Cato, from Bilston, a 2023 BAME50 Tech winner. Permanently excluded from school, witnessing a murder and arrested several times as a teenager in Handsworth, Luke has not only turned his own life around but is empowering young people to choose the right path.

Luke, the executive producer of Lawrence, added: “We’re proud to have created a compelling, immersive urban drama which educates at risk young people by using the mobile tech they carry in their pockets, not text books.

"Due to the urgent nature of the subject matter, we’ve decided to offer free downloads to make Lawrence as accessible as possible to those who need help.

"I have personal experience of facing pressure from negative influences and believe the narrative led-genre of interactive films we’re creating will revolutionise the way vulnerable young adults are educated about the consequences of their actions.”

Written by Warner Brothers/Netflix screenwriter Jayson Rothwell and available to download for free on Google Play and Apple via the It's On You Entertainment App, Lawrence’s innovative tech features emerge as he tries to navigate increasingly dangerous, real-life situations in a gritty urban setting.

Character bios and exclusive tracks from the latest artists are unlocked as players’ choices decide Lawrence’s fate as he considers selling drugs. Graphic scenes reveal how one wrong decision can have fatal consequences, and so educates teenagers via the digital world so familiar to them.

Ashley Chin, who directed Lawrence, commented: “I decided to get involved with making this important film because it’s an unrivalled concept which deserves to have a massive social impact.

"There was a real buzz at the premiere because choosing the course of the narrative created a unique immersive experience for the audience, and that feeling will be matched by app viewers who’ll be inspired to apply the vital learnings into their own lives.”

Real Direction is the partner company of It’s On You Entertainment. The platform is a world first pioneering force in immersive education, crafting high quality interactive short films, tools and games that engage and educate young minds about society’s problems including violent crime, gang culture and county lines. Real Direction resources have been adopted by key stakeholders including the West Midlands Police Violence Reduction Partnership and the Jigsaw Education Group.

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