Out of Control
Improvised drama following the experiences of three teenagers sent to a young offenders institution.
Dean (Danny Young), sensitive and intelligent, lives with his mum (Tamzin Outhwaite) on an estate out of town. They're very close and she's doing everything she can to ensure that he doesn't end up like the other kids on the estate.
But when Dean's friend Charlie-boy (Bronson Webb) is released from his latest spell inside, it's not long before the two of them are in trouble again. Dean is arrested for being in a stolen car and is given two months in a young offenders institute.
Meanwhile, when Sam (Leo Gregory) plans an armed robbery on a South London estate, his mate Danny (Akemnji Ndifornyan) goes along with it. But later they're arrested and sent down for two years.
Once inside, Sam becomes a bully and joins in the ritualistic taunting of the weaker, new inmates. He targets Dean, who has become weak and vulnerable - and although the prison officer, Mike (David Morrissey) tries to help Dean and keep an eye out for him as much as he can, it ends in tragedy.
Director Dominic Savage carried out several months of research in the toughest estates and young offenders institutions across the UK. He says: "When you go into these institutions, there are those who need to be aggressive from the off, otherwise they become victims themselves. And there are those, some of whom are as young as 15, who are extremely vulnerable to them. Out of Control is about the criminal mentality, it's about what's going on inside their heads."
Tamzin Outhwaite left Albert Square far behind her for what she described as one of the most disturbing and emotional projects she's ever been involved with: "It's about what's really going on for teenagers and it's about a mother's struggle to ensure her children know right from wrong.
"She's trying to convince Dean that working at school and getting his head down is going to be the best option, rather than going out, thieving and smoking weed."
Having spent weeks researching the role of Mike, David Morrissey is convinced that it's not the life for him, despite being full of admiration for the officers he shadowed: "Not only do they have to deal with the boys but they also have to deal with the pressure of bureaucracy coming down on them all the time. Not to mention the hours they have to work, the conditions they work under, the overcrowding and the constant pressure of being attacked."
Out of Control won the prestigious Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the Edinburgh Festival in 2002.
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