Director from Ely looking to tackle homophobia in football head on with new film Wonderkid

Sir Ian McKellen and Rhys Chapman

Sir Ian McKellen and Rhys Chapman - Credit: Archant

Former Witchford Village College student Rhys Chapman is hoping to raise £25,000 to fund a film focusing on tackling homophobia in football.

The 25-year-old decided to make the move from East Cambridgeshire to London in 2010 and pursue a career in film after being made redundant from his job at a plumbing firm.

Now, realising his dream, Rhys has launched Wonderkid, a 20-minute short film that seeks to tackle homophobia in football and provide an insight into the trauma caused by homophobic stigma.

The short film tells the story of a footballer who makes the move from a small to a top level club but struggles to find acceptance of his sexuality.

He has already secured the backing of Hollywood actor Sir Ian McKellen – who agreed to narrate part of the funding appeal - and funding has been pledged by the Kevin Spacey Foundation to help get the project off the ground.

Rhys said: “I think film is such a valuable medium and we believe is the ideal format to start to address very common issues of homophobia in our society with the scope to reach a wide and varied audience.

“We have collaborated with LGBT anti-violence charity Galop. This is a film with great aspirations working with Galop, we plan to use the film to educate people with the intention to hold screenings and talks with young people who may come to experience these issues.”

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To find out how you can help fund the project, visit crowd-funding website Kickstarter at: