Shifty (film)

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Shifty poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Eran Creevy
Produced by Rory Aitken
Ben Pugh
Written by Eran Creevy
Starring Riz Ahmed
Daniel Mays
Jason Flemyng
Nitin Ganatra
Francesca Annis
Music by Molly Nyman
Harry Escott
Ben Drew
Between the Eyes
Film London Microwave
Distributed by Metrodome Distribution
Release date
  • 24 October 2008 (2008-10-24) (London Film Festival)
  • 24 April 2009 (2009-04-24) (United Kingdom)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office £244,579[1]

Shifty is a British urban crime thriller, written and directed by Eran Creevy. Set on the outskirts of London and filmed Borehamwood shifty follows themes of friendshipand loyalty over the course of twenty-four hours in the life of a young drug dealer, the charismatic Shifty. Shifty was filmed predominantly in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, the home of Elstree Studios. Based on Eran Creevy's teenage experiences, and boasting convincing performances from a cast of rising stars, as well as veteran actors Jason Flemyng and Francesca Annis, the film was funded by Film London's Microwave scheme[2] and delivered after a shooting schedule of just eighteen days.[3]


After four years, Chris returns to where he grew up, it seems at first to attend a party, but his real motive is to catch up with his old buddy, Shifty who he left behind. Whilst away, Chris has settled into responsible adult life, with a mortgage and a good job, but he is shocked to discover that Shifty has been dealing cocaine for some time, supplied by the double dealing Glen.

Although happy to see him, Shifty has not fully forgiven Chris for leaving in the first place, and it is soon learned that the circumstances under which Chris left are more complicated than they first seemed. They spend the next 24 hours together, with Chris watching Shifty as he deals to a variety of increasingly desperate customers from the community.

Over the course of this day they are forced to confront the ghosts from the past that drove Chris away and the desperate and dangerous present that Shifty finds himself in, whilst re-discovering their friendship. Chris is once again given an opportunity to prove his loyalty to Shifty and to try to ultimately save Shifty from himself.


  • Riz Ahmed as Shifty — a local drug dealer who gets torn between street crime and what could be different
  • Daniel Mays as Chris — an old friend of Shifty's who spends a day with him, but is forced to face up to why he left his hometown
  • Jason Flemyng as Glen — the middle man for the drug dealers, he also supplies for Shifty
  • Nitin Ganatra as Rez — Shifty's brother, who takes Shifty in when his family kick him out, has issues with Shifty's chosen lifestyle
  • Heronimo Sehmi as Ronnie - Shifty's father, who kicks him out because he does not agree with his lifestyle choices
  • Francesca Annis as Valerie
  • Jay Simpson as Trevor
  • Dannielle Brent as Jasmine
  • Kate Groombridge as Loretta
  • Alice Cutter as Tasha
  • Ben Drew as Drug Dealer (Uncredited)


Shifty Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Molly Nyman and Harry Escott
Released 20 April 2009[4]
Recorded 2008-2009
Genre Urban, Hip hop, Rap
Length 34:09
Label Silva Screen Records (SILCD1286)
Producer Molly Nyman and Harry Escott, Ben Drew

The soundtrack to the film was composed by Molly Nyman, Harry Escott and performed by The Samphire Band. It was nominated for Best Technical Achievement at the British Independent Film Awards 2008.[5] The score was performed live in Film & Music Arena at the Latitude Festival in 2009.[6] All tracks performed by The Samphire Band, except where stated.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Shifty Theme"
  2. "Busting My Ghaand"
  3. "Charming Glen"
  4. "Why Am I Running?"
  5. "CataclysMic" (performed by DJ Trax & Rich Beggar)
  6. "Swings"
  7. "Spilling the Various"
  8. "Blare's House"
  9. "Tough Call"
  10. "Good Boy"
  11. "Look At You"
  12. "Night Watch"
  13. "Leave it All Behind"
  14. "Play the Tape"
  15. "Shifty" (performed by Riz MC, Sway & Plan B)

"Shifty" - Single[edit]

Shifty single.jpg
Single by Riz MC, Sway & Plan B
from the album Shifty: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released 11 May 2009
Format CD single, 12" vinyl, Digital download
Recorded 2009
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:36
Label True Tiger Recordings (TTR 018)
Songwriter(s) Robert Conlon, Neil Thakaria, Riz Ahmed, Derek Safo, Ben Drew, Rashid El-Alami, Paul Flynn
Producer(s) True Tiger
Riz MC singles chronology
(2008) Radar2008
(2009) String Module Error: Match not found2009
Don't Sleep
(2009) Don't Sleep2009
Sway singles chronology
Two Fingers
(2009) Two Fingers2009
(2009) String Module Error: Match not found2009
(2009) Mercedes-Benz2009
Plan B singles chronology
(2008) Pieces2008
(2009) String Module Error: Match not found2009
End Credits
(2009) End Credits2009

The official single for the film was performed by British rappers Riz MC, Riz Ahmed who portrays Shifty in the film, Sway and Plan B. Released on 11 May 2009 on True Tiger Recordings, the single did not chart. The music video, also directed by Eran Creevy, was filmed in the same locations as the film and features Riz MC, Sway and Plan B each rapping along with footage taken from the film. Riz MC, Sway and Plan B performed the song live on 24 April 2009 at Bar Rumba, London for the film's launch party.[7]

  • Digital download and CD single[8]
  1. "Shifty" - 3:36
  2. "Shifty" (Sukh Knight Remix) - 4:53
  • 12" vinyl
  1. "Shifty" (Sukh Knight Remix) - 4:53
  2. "Shifty" (Scandalous United Remix) - 6:26
  3. "Shifty" - 3:36


The film has a 96% rating on RottenTomatoes out of 25 reviews. Many claimed that despite a very low budget, the film's actors and storyline was of the highest calibre, and therefore was a well formed, character-driven debut for Creevy.[9] However, customers on only gave an average review of 3.5 stars, with some claiming that the film's low budget left it with a dialogue-driven production with little or no action to add to proceedings.[10]

Award nominations[edit]

  • Best Achievement in Production
  • Best Actor (Riz Ahmed)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Daniel Mays)
  • Best Technical Achievement (Harry Escott, Molly Nyman)
  • Douglas Hickox Award (Eran Creevy)
  • Bronze Horse (Eran Creevy)


External links[edit]