Shane O'Sullivan was inspired to write Second Generation after spending a two-year spell in Japan followed by two years living in Brick Lane, the hub of east London's Asian community, where the story is set. In the film, O'Sullivan aims to capture the spirit of Brick Lane's multicultural neighbourhood, with its mix of neon-lit curry houses, mosques, derelict buildings and struggling artists in cheap accommodation.
The story throws together a diverse group of young Asian characters in London. Lili, played by Japanese pop star Hanayo, is a young Chinese girl who flees to the city to escape an arranged marriage and stumbles into the life of Indian ad director Jamal (Guru In Seven star Nitin Ganatra). Lili is unaware her father has hired a Japanese detective, Go (Kyoto-based actor Shigetomo Yutani), to track her down. But the inexperienced private eye falls in love with Lili, and in the end only teashop owner Ravi (East Is East's Kriss Dosanjh) can sort out the tangled web of relationships.
The film was shot on location in east London with the support of the area's Bangladeshi community. Indian actor Saeed Jaffrey, cast in a cameo role, caused ripples of excitement among Brick Lane locals and was mobbed in a halal fried chicken shop. The film, which was developed with the support of the Moonstone Directors' Lab and local post-production training centre VET, had two successful screenings at Cannes this year and has been selected for the Uplink Festival in Tokyo in August.
- Type of film
- Shane O’Sullivan
- Masaki Hiramoto
- Shane O’Sullivan.
- Exec prods
- Richard Balding, Sheena Bailey.
- Jack Kellett, O’Sullivan.
- Mark Duffield.
- Prod des
- Kanako Hiramoto.
- Kavi Pujara, Brian Saunderson.
- Main cast
- Hanayo, Shigetomo Yutani, Nitin Ganatra, Saeed Jaffrey, Adrian Pang, Kriss Dosanjh, Mari Wilson.
- Private sources.