One Mile Away

One Mile Away follows the struggles of two warring gangs in inner city Birmingham, the Burger Bar Boys (B21) and the Johnson Crew (B6), to bring peace to their neighbourhoods.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Penny Woolcock, One Mile Away won the prize for best film at Edinburgh Film Festival in 2012.

"A riveting portrait of the complex, contentious reality of the streets, and the courage it takes to make a difference, it could well be this year’s most important British film." - Time Out

One Mile Away follows Penny Woolcock’s Hip Hop musical 1 Day which depicted these postcode wars. One Mile Away was initiated by Shabba, a young man affiliated to the Johnson side who met Penny during her research for 1 Day. He saw her as neutral and as someone who had built trust on both sides. Penny agreed to get involved and introduced Shabba to Dylan Duffus – the lead actor in 1 Day and affiliated to the Burger side. The film follows their painstaking journey over two years to recruit more supporters from both sides. Along the way, they get advice from Jonathan Powell, who oversaw the Good Friday Agreement, and the riots erupt in Birmingham, with surprising consequences.

If you would like to donate towards One Mile Away, please click 'Donate' below:




Everyone involved so far.  The film was funded by Channel 4, Barrow Cadbury Trust and Creative England, with development grants from PUMA and Fallon and finishing funds from Influence Film Fund.

The distribution and social impact work of the film is being funded by Bertha Foundation and by our generous individual backers on Kickstarter.

We are also super grateful to those who have given their time and help to get One Mile Away's social enterprise, that will work on streets and in schools to help our youth make better choices in difficult circumstance, off the ground.  That's Bertha Foundation, The Funding Network, Prince's Trust, Rosalind Munro and Lisa James.




One Mile Away - The brave young men who devised the project and invited Penny to film their struggle include:

Matthias Thompson (Shabba) and Dylan Duffus (D-Boy)

Dylan Duffus aka D-Boy is one of the main reasons the #RoadToFreedom Tour is possible today. Alongside Matthias Thompson aka Shabba they set out on a mission to try and bring peace to a community that has been plagued with violence for years. Dylan is our head facilitator, he is a father of seven boys, so as you can imagine his experience is invaluable. Matthias is the man who reached out first and is one of the driving forces in our movement.He is very interested in finding ways to develop business projects in deprived areas and is a man of the community.

Simeon Moore (Zimbo)

Simeon Moore aka Zimbo was born in Birmingham and lives in Aston with his two kids. He first met Penny 5 years ago but only got involved in One Mile Away after seeing 1 Day. He is a big believer in a change of mentality. Zimbo believes that gangs are merely a symptom of a bigger problem and that rather than merely treating the symptom, which has been attempted many times before, we should tackle the bigger issue of mental well being. He believes unhealthy minds are one of the biggest problems facing young people of disadvantaged areas today. Zimbo is keen to see changes on the streets and in his community.

Joel Eccleston (YT)

Joel Ecclestone aka YT was born in Chicago but grew up in Handsworth, while his dad stayed overseas in New York. His role models were the men in gangs on the streets. He first met Penny on 1 Day, five years ago and now his passion lies in connecting with young people most at risk of committing crime and joining a criminal gang. YT believes it is time for change and is committed to making it happen. YT is keen on getting young people to realise you can be ‘REAL’ in more ways than the streets would lead you to believe.

Penny Woolcock - Director

Penny Woolcock has been directing award-winning documentaries, feature films and opera for the stage for twenty years. Her recent work includes On The Streets (2010) a film about homeless people on the streets of London and 1 Day (2009) about a day in the life of an inner city hustler.

James Purnell - Producer

James will assume his role as Director, Strategy and Digital at the BBC Wednesday 20th March 2013. He first worked at the BBC in the 1990s, as Head of Corporate Planning. He had previously been a research fellow on IPPR's media project, and before that was a strategy consultant in media and telecommunications at Hydra Associates. He left the BBC to be Special Adviser on the Knowledge Economy, including Internet and broadcasting policy, to Tony Blair after he became Prime Minister. He was elected Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde, before becoming Secretary of State for Culture and then for Work and Pensions. He resigned from the government in June 2009, and stood down from Parliament at the 2010 Election. Since leaving Parliament, he has been Senior Producer at Rare Day, an independent production company producing the award winning One Mile Away and an adviser to the Boston Consulting Group. He is currently the Head of Strategy and Digital at the BBC.

Rebecca Llyod-Evans - Associate Producer

Rebecca has worked for and along side BRITDOC Foundation since 2007 as an assistant producer for some of the best names in British documentary.  After finishing One Mile Away, she moved to Beirut to study Arabic, work as a video journalist and write her first screenplay.

BRITDOC Films (Impact Distribution) is led by:

Jess Search (CEO)

Jess Search is Chief Executive of the BRITDOC Foundation, which has given funding and support to over 60 award-winning and influential documentaries including Oscar-nominated Hell and Back Again, The Yes Men Fix the World, Afghan Star and The End of the Line. In partnership with the Sundance Institute, BRITDOC runs Good Pitch. Jess was previously a Channel 4 Commissioning Editor and a founder of Shooting People, the online social network for filmmakers. She has an MBA and is on the board of IPPR the progressive think tank.

Sarah Mosses (Partnerships Manager and Impact Producer)

Sarah began working with the Foundation during the BRITDOC Film Festivals 2006-2008 and then progressed to act as Distribution Consultant for The Yes Men Fix The World and Erasing David, helped launch the Yes Men and Shooting People Branded Channels for the Babelgum online platform and acted as a consultant for Working Films. She nows manages operations for BRITDOC Films, the new distribution arm of the BRITDOC Foundation, which includes the launch of Ping Pong (, supported by the BFI and Big Lottery Fund), One Mile Away, and advising on social issue campaign strategies for films that take part in our Good Pitch events.

Photography - Alexander Piatti

The beautiful portraits of the team featured in the video above were done by the very talented Alexander Piatti. If you are interested in his work please visit:

If you have any complaints about the film please contact Rare Day directly on