McKell-Celaschi-David-and-Lars-Mikkelson-in-MontanaIn recent years London’s Shoreditch area has been spruced up rather a lot. The former factories and warehouses that were once abandoned and left to run down have found a new life as trendy shops, cafes bars and restaurants. It would seem, however, that the Montana production team have found one that’s been left to rot.

As we wander around the loft space that’s being used for the day’s filming, it’s impossible to tell which bits of twisted metal are set dressing, and which are going to give us tetanus. We make sure not to touch anything, just to be safe.

“I come from a music video background, so anything visual has to stand out to make sense,” director Mo Ali explains, “I’m avoiding doing the whole council estate aesthetic; it’s almost slightly fantastical locations, but they suit the characters.”

Montana – the story of a young boy, saved from a gang by an Eastern European hit man, who then trains with his saviour to fight back – is Ali’s follow up to his micro-budgeted first feature, Shank, and takes its inspiration from films like The Karate Kid, Kick-Ass and Leon. Indeed, Ali describes Leon director, Luc Besson as “one of my favourite directors in the world”, and the movie as “one of those films that changed my life”.

We’ll have more on from our set visit closer to the film’s release later this year, but today we’re able to exclusively preview three stills from the movie. Taken during the day we were on set, they feature the film’s stars, McKell Celaschi-David (Montana), and Lars Mikkelsen (Dimitrij) as they train in Dimitrij’s hideout..