The truth will get you killed…
New British crime drama Bluff is British-Bangladeshi screenwriter and producer Sheikh Shahnawaz’s feature directorial debut, though he has an impressively extensive short film CV including Friend Request (2015), Stalker (2016), Duality (2018), The Woods (2018) and Trick (2018).
In the film, a London police officer goes undercover as a heroin addict in a small English town and manipulates an unsuspecting local junkie into working with him for a dangerous drug dealer. It’s already available on Amazon Prime — check out the longer synopsis below, and scroll down for the trailer, images and the director’s statement:
Detective Sergeant Daniel Miller is suspended from the London Metropolitan Police so that he can be secretly deployed to a small English town on an undercover assignment to uncover Britain’s major suppliers of heroin and crack cocaine. He poses as a heroin addict and manipulates an unsuspecting junkie into working with him so that he can infiltrate the local drug network and work his way up the supply chain. The line between duty and criminality begins to blur as Miller’s investigation becomes increasingly dangerous the closer he gets to finding the source of a drug trafficker.
Bluff stars Gurj Gill as Miller, Jason Adam as local addict Cooks, Nisaro Karim (24 Little Hours) as Imran, James Jaysen Bryhan (Shadow and Bone) as Collins, and Joe Egan (Sherlock Holmes) as Neil — with music by Savfk. The film is available on Amazon Prime.
Watch the trailer now:
Here’s writer, producer and director, Sheikh Shahnawaz on how he made his film, and what it means to him:
“My father died 5 days after I finished writing the screenplay. This is a deeply personal film for me. Not only because of having to deal with my father’s death while making it but also because it was set in my hometown and deals with homelessness and the illicit trade of heroin which is a prevalent issue here. The film also revolves around the rising use of fentanyl, a lethal drug used to increase the potency of heroin which we are seeing involved in more drug-related deaths around the world than ever before as part of the opioid crisis.
I spent time with actual heroin users and drug dealers for research. The undercover policing tactics depicted in the film are based on real-life experiences of actual undercover police agents that operated in this region. To elevate the well-explored tropes of the crime genre, I crafted a very intricate story through the use of a non-linear structure that I don’t think audiences have quite experienced like this before.
I was forced to make this film with only my own resources because as a 26-year-old filmmaker, a child of 2 Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, from the inner-city of Birmingham, nobody in the UK film industry would give me a mainstream opportunity. Inspired by the debut micro-budget films of Christopher Nolan, Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins, Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez and Darren Aronofsky, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from making this film.
I hope this film entertains and informs audiences all around the world. Although my father will never get to watch my debut feature film, at least his memory has been immortalised through it.”