The Arsenal Foundation

Arsenal help fund knife crime film

The Arsenal Foundation helped to fund Ambitious Academy, a community mentoring and education programme based at the Elthorne Estate, make a film called Chance The Movie. Actor Daniel Phelan, 24, from Camden, tells us about it

“I play the main character Dominic in Chance The Movie, a film about knife crime that aims to raise awareness of knife crime. Dominic has been bought up in a care home and has ambitions to become a professional footballer but is challenged with things that happen in his life. Like many of his friends Dominic is a victim of knife crime, and the hope is that the film shows people that this is really happening and that we need to come together to change things. Everything that happens in the film is happening in real life.

“I’ve been acting for four years but this was my first lead role. I found out about the film online and I was inspired by Shawdon Smith, who was the film’s producer and is the founder of Ambitious Academy. He’s a very ambitious individual and encourages a lot of young people to strive for greatness, so when I was invited to the casting at the last minute I went along and managed to land the role of Dominic.  

“There’s a lot to being an actor and you don’t just turn up on set and perform. There’s learning your lines, getting into character and making early starts for filming! The most difficult thing for me though was crying on cue because I’d never done that before, but nonetheless I took some time to really focus and managed to pull it off, convincingly I think.

“The film is true to real life because knife crime is a real issue in London – I know people who have been stabbed – and hopefully the film inspires the younger generation into doing something creative and stepping away from this lifestyle. If you have a passion for something, surround yourself with the right people and just stick at it.

“The goal for me is to become a successful actor. I’ve set yearly goals and so far I’ve been smashing them! I like to think I’m on the right path, and I have a lot of good people around. Shawdon has been a real inspiration and helped mentor me in real life as well – he has taught me a lot about life and I will pay him back one day. 

“The Arsenal Foundation grant was a big help to Shawdon and James Vancooten, the writer and director, in paying for equipment and locations, as well as food and drink for cast members.

“I think it’s amazing that football clubs help the community. A lot of people will turn a blind eye to projects like this but when good people in the world are willing to help those around them we can create greatness.”

Watch Chance The Movie here

Follow Ambitious Academy on Instagram @AAislington

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