A young actor from Birmingham is to appear alongside top British actors in a feature-length international film, due to be released in cinemas next year.

Antonio Aakeel, 20, will be starring alongside Riz Ahmed of Four Lions and Nightcrawler fame and Doctor Who and Penny Dreadful star Billie Piper in upcoming British crime thriller City of Tiny Lights, directed by BAFTA-winning Pete Travis, the man behind top Hollywood films including Vantage Point and Dredd.

Following four gruelling auditions and a screen test, the local city lad secured the movie role of Lovely, playing the younger version of a character portrayed by BIFA-winning actor James Floyd.

Growing up on a council estate, Antonio caught the acting bug after being given a one-line role in a Christmas play in primary school.

He later went on to land a small role in popular E4 show Skins, bagging the part after auditioning against 500 other hopefuls.

After a couple of lead roles in BBC drama Doctors and a prominent character role in international film The Line of Freedom, Aakeel is now set to appear on the silver screen in City of Tiny Lights, based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Patrick Neate.

Discussing his role in the film, Antonio Aakeel - who was recently scouted by Star Wars star John Boyega’s agent Femi Oguns OBE, said “I am so excited to be working with such talented actors that I’ve looked up to for such a long time. I’ve had a couple of TV jobs but nothing compares to being on an actual film set.”

“Also, coming from a working class background, these opportunities for people like me are far and few in-between, so I hope working with a team of people with similar roots will inspire others to do the same.”

The BBC and BFI produced film began filming in April last year and is due to be released internationally in 2017.

Antonio Aakeel also stars in local TV drama production Guilty Pleasures, the pilot of which has a press screening at the Mockingbird Theatre in Digbeth on Saturday 30 July, at 7pm.