Daniel Wolfe takes film on honour killing, Catch Me Daddy, to Cannes

Catch Me Daddy is a visceral chase movie that is being touted as a British Western, with outlaws and bounty hunters chasing their prey through the Yorkshire Moors.
Sameena Jabeen Ahmed plays a British-Pakistani in Catch Me Daddy. Courtesy Emu Films
Sameena Jabeen Ahmed plays a British-Pakistani in Catch Me Daddy. Courtesy Emu Films

Catch Me Daddy arrived at Cannes on the back of a lot of buzz. That’s because the first-time feature-film director Daniel Wolfe made two of the most-watched music videos on YouTube ­– Plan B: Prayin’ set in a British prison and The Shoes’ Time to Dance, in which the Hollywood star Jake Gyllenhaal waltzes around London’s East End. The anticipation levels went through the roof when it was revealed that Wolfe was making a film about honour killing, in which a British-Pakistani is chased by her family and hired thugs after running off with her white British boyfriend. The script is co-written with his brother Matthew.

Wolfe says of his inspiration: “I’ve seen articles appearing on honour crime, as the press calls it. One case in particular drew our attention and that was a case in which two white thugs, the press used the term bounty hunters, were involved in a murder.”

Wolfe was very aware that his film was dealing with a hot topic within the Islamic community and, being a white British director, there would be some scepticism as to his motivation. “The first thing we did was send it to our executive producer, Walli Ullah; he’s a British Muslim. He read the script and thought that it was an important story to tell. Then we approached all the leading honour crime charities and showed them the script. I didn’t want to make a campaign film and I don’t think we are showing religiously motivated people.”

The result is a visceral chase movie that is being touted as a British Western, with outlaws and bounty hunters chasing their prey through the Yorkshire Moors. The action starts straight away and there is little exposition as to who is giving chase and why.

Besides, the decision to keep religious motives out of the storyline is a smart move.

“We are more interested in stripping back religion, stripping back culture and just getting down to the father and daughter aspect of the storyline,” explains the director. “I hope that comes across – that it is a struggle between a father and daughter. When you see a headline, you don’t see the struggle, you just see that a father did this or did that.”

Wolfe’s great discovery is the British Pakistani lead actress Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, a talent to watch out for. “The casting director tapped her on the shoulder in the street and when she came in she shot some pool and had us all enthralled.”

artslife@thenational.ae

Published: May 19, 2014 04:00 AM

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