New ‘life changing’ film made by Enfield teacher

St Ignatius College’s head of year eleven seeks to repeat success of his acclaimed short film Step Back

A still from Leo Powells new film Bros for Life
A still from Leo Powell’s new film ‘Bros for Life

An Enfield schoolteacher has launched his second short film aimed at tackling youth violence, following on from the success of his previous picture Step Back.

Supported by funding from the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, St Ignatius College’s head of year eleven Leo Powell is this week releasing his film Bros for Life, which features students as extras.

The film follows the lives of two childhood friends who, after receiving their GCSE results, seek out different paths for their future. It addresses friendships and choices and how these can help young people avoid a route towards violence.

It is the follow-up to Leo’s short film Step Back, released last year, which was shortlisted at the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival 2021. Both films provided opportunities for students to get involved in the production process and learn more about filmmaking.

In Bros for Life, students from two local secondary schools and a primary school star as extras. Four of the secondary school students also gained work experience by being on set throughout filming and shadowing various members of the production crew.

Students were also signposted to organisations that offer acting and filmmaking classes to further inspire young people to pursue their interests in the filming industry.

Leo, who was named last year by the Dispatch as an ‘Enfield Community Hero’ for his work with young people in the borough, said: “This project can help to increase the self-esteem of young people through positive role models and involvement in a short film.

“It will also help young people gain filmmaking skills and enhance their career aspirations in the film industry. My hope is that this project goes beyond filmmaking, to [become] life changing!”

Anne Longfield, the former children’s commissioner for England, wrote in 2019 that for vulnerable youths “falling out of school” was a trigger point for getting into trouble with the police or ending up in prison.

Lib Peck, director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: “Our focus is to champion the voice of young people and to take action by supporting them through education, training, employment and investing in thousands of positive opportunities.

“A positive role model in a young person’s life is crucial – whether that’s at school, in the family or in the community. We’re really pleased to be working with Leo on this project that will tell an important story and opens up fantastic opportunities and experiences for young people.”

Bros for Life will be available to watch on Youtube via the Million Youth Media channel from 6pm on Thursday, 10th February.