The film follows teenager Rocks (Bukky Bakray) who fears that she and her little brother Emmanuel (D’angelou Osei Kissiedu) will be forced apart if anyone finds out they are living alone. With the help of her friends, she evades the authorities and navigates the most defining days of her life. ROCKS is a film about the joy, resilience and spirit of girlhood.
Uniquely crafted by a majority female creative team in collaboration with mostly first-time actors. ROCKS was written by Theresa Ikoko (winner of the Alfred Fagon award in 2015 for her play Girls) and Claire Wilson (Little Drummer Girl, Gangs of London, The Power), and directed by Sarah Gavron (Suffragette, Brick Lane) and associate director Anu Henriques. Produced by Faye Ward (Wild Rose, Stan & Ollie) and Ameenah Ayub Allen (Dark River, Ali and Ava), with casting by Lucy Pardee and associate Jessica Straker. The lead cast features Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, Shaneigha-Monik Greyson, Ruby Stokes, Tawheda Begum, Anastasia Dymitrow, Afi Okaidja and D’angelou Osei Kissiedu.
This core group of British girls, who all come from differing cultural backgrounds including Nigerian, Somali, Polish, Bangladeshi, English and Congolese-Ghanaian, emerged out of extensive workshops in which they generously shared experiences of friendship, their cultures, social media and school life as part of the filmmaking process.