The Ellington Kid is an urban myth for modern day London. Set in a typical south London kebab shop, this week’s London Short is a fast-paced and quick-witted tale of vengeance, fast food and knife crime, made by music video director Dan Sully.
Incredibly, the film claims to be based on a true story (kind of). Dan explains, “The film is based on a story that was told to me by a friend about a guy who was stabbed and ran into a kebab shop for safety. I think that bit of the story is true. I'll leave it up to the audience to decide which embellishments have been made!”
The film feels inextricably linked to south London. We asked Dan about why he decided to set the film in this part of town, “We searched and searched all over London but most kebab shops weren't interested in closing their doors for fear of losing repeat customers. Eventually we found Family Cafe and Kebab in Streatham and it was perfect… So even though the fact that we ended up filming in south London was a little by chance, once we had secured the location it started to feel like the right home for the story”.
Dan has a background in directing music videos, and this shines through in the film’s sharp editing and strong visuals. We asked him about how he thinks this informs his fiction work, “I think music videos train you quite well when it comes to creating visual sequences. I've made a few narrative music videos that are really like silent films - you have to say everything with images”.
The Ellington Kid is a London Short picked by Katie Brandwood who runs Stanley’s Film Club in South Norwood. The film will screen on 4 November as part of a new regular programme called Shorts in the South. The short film night aims to showcase the best filmmaking from south London.
Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: londonshorts@
To see other London Shorts click here.