In recent years many groups have tried to tackle homophobia in football (that’s soccer for all of you of a non-British persuasion), but it’s a sad fact the there are no out player in any of the UK professional leagues and it’s not uncommon to hear anti-gay heckles coming from supporters in the stands.
Now a short film is hoping to help challenge the preconceptions of masculinity in football and also to show the effects of homophobia. The film is called Wonderkid and it has launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hope of raising £25,000, which should allow the makers to film and complete the 20-minute short.
Once finished, the film will follow ‘the inner turmoil of an unnamed football prodigy as he comes to terms with his own identity, struggling to reconcile his sexuality with his issues with alcohol and OCD’, all in a hyper-masculine environment.
Wonderkid has already made plenty of friends, including getting Ian McKellen to narrate the Kickstarter video, as well as getting a grant grant from the Kevin Spacey Foundation. They’ve also teamed up with Galop, a charity which tackles abuse in the LGBT community, in the hope that together they can communicate/represent those that have suffered abuse / violence / hate crime. That includes coming together for a fundraising event called Looking for Changes – 7 Short Films, on Tuesday, October 14th at Cafe 1001, Brick Lane, London from 7pm.
Mel Stray from Galop comments, “The enthusiasm of the up-and-coming young filmmakers behind Wonderkid is infectious, and we are very much looking forward to working with them. Tackling homophobic stigma in football is incredibly important – this is a film that needs to be made!”
The main young filmmaker Mel is talking about is director Rhys Chapman, a keen football supporter himself, who’s been busy engaging with the LGBT community to get the movie made. If you want to help out, watch the McKellen-featuring fundraising video below and then head over to KickStarter. Your can also find out more at the short’s official website.