It may only be October, but it’s never too early for the C-word – no, not that one, you filthy animals. With Halloween on the horizon, that means Christmas is around the corner, the festive season is drawing in fast, and repeat viewings of Home Alone, Love Actually and The Muppet Christmas Carol will be on the cards. But this year, Yardie and Kidulthood star Aml Ameen is here with his own Christmas gift: a new addition to your roster of holiday movies, with his feature directorial debut Boxing Day.
It’s a thoroughly personal project for Ameen, who stars, produces and co-writes, as well as directing. Drawing on many of his real life experiences for the script, he plays protagonist Melvin – an author reluctantly bringing his American fiancé Lisa (Aja Naomi King) home to England to meet his family over Christmas as part of a book tour. But, things go awry when the pair run into his famous popstar ex, Georgia (Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock). Check out an exclusive image above.
While Boxing Day tells a pretty classic Christmas rom-com story – with family awkwardness, tangled feelings, and big romantic gestures – it’s more than a simple retread of the snowy ground of old. It’s a festive film from a fresh perspective, focusing on Christmas celebrations in a Black British household. “Britain is one of the most multicultural places on the planet, especially London,” Ameen tells Empire, “and I felt that we needed to have a Christmas film that reflected just how diverse and amazing our city and our country are. I wanted to turn the lens on to my particular family. It doesn’t matter what culture or background you’re from, you can watch a film like this and think – that’s my family, that’s my uncle, that’s my inappropriate aunt. We all know those people, and so it’s universal.”
Keep an eye out for the Boxing Day trailer arriving soon, and catch the film in UK cinemas from 3 December.