Leo Powell is currently Head of Year 10 at St Ignatius’ College in Enfield. He is also an experienced trainer and facilitator in the area of County Lines, and has developed a comprehensive training programme that he delivers in schools, organisations, churches, and to practitioners, parents, youth workers and more.
Leo began working with young people in 2010, when he was first invited to become a volunteer youth leader for Jubilee Church London in Enfield. Over the years, he has pastorally supported and mentored numerous young people in many different areas, including Feltham Young Offenders Institution, and has proven himself as a positive and influential role model within a church context and the community of Enfield.
Leo is the producer of an upcoming short film entitled Step Back – a film he believes will be a platform that can bring about positive change in the lives of many. His proposed film has the potential to impact many lives, as it not only addresses key issues that young people are facing in society today, but also has a positive message that many will be able to relate to, both young and old!
“I am hoping that this film can be used as a resource for people who work in youth organisations and establishments, to help them engage in positive conversations with young people around the different topics that are covered in the film,” said Leo.
The story of the film is an original concept – a cross between a drama and a sci-fi. It follows the life of Marcus (tag name “Legs”), a 16-year-old boy caught up in gang culture. On his 16th birthday, Marcus and his friends visit a trainer shop, but instead of buying the trainers, Marcus decides to steal them. When he attempts to leave the shop, the shop assistant confronts him, and an altercation breaks out. Marcus ends up stabbing the shop assistant and unknowingly leaves him in the shop to die. Consequently, Marcus is found guilty for murder and sent to prison.
Whilst in prison, Marcus himself gets stabbed in the showers, as an act of revenge for the shop assistant who died in the trainer shop, and now Marcus is the one who finds himself in the back of an ambulance… But this is where the story takes a dramatic twist! As Marcus takes his last breath, he suddenly opens his eyes again and realises he isn’t dead, but instead he has woken up in his bedroom! Marcus hadn’t died; he had gone back in time to one year earlier, and was now a 15-year-old boy… So what lies ahead for Marcus? Leo promises that you will not be disappointed!
The production team is Little Drops Production, an amazing team who were responsible for the short film, Amani, which received a million views in just four days! Three of the main characters in the film will be played by brilliant actors:
Xavien Russell, who featured in the hit series, Top Boy 1 & 2, will be playing the lead role of Marcus; Curtis Kantsa, who featured in the hit movie, Blue Story, will also be co-starring in the film, alongside the multi award-winning comedy legend, Angie Le Mar, who will be playing the role of Marcus’ mum.
“When the story was first presented to me, I was very moved by it. This film needs to happen! I love this story because it has a crazy twist on it, with a different perspective, but it also comes from an authentic place, and it’s genuine. I think whoever is watching it will relate to it in some sort of way, and I feel that people can learn valuable lessons from it!” said Xavien Russell.
“Hopeful, heartfelt, empowering!” is how Curtis Kantsa describes the film. “These are the words that come to mind about Step Back. After reading the script, I felt something. Something real and heartfelt that I haven’t felt in a script set in urban London since Blue Story.” He continues: “I immediately felt that this needed to be seen by young boys everywhere, because I wanted them to feel the same hope I felt after reading it, and feel empowered to take their future into their own hands.”
For more information about this amazing film, visit www.leopowell.co.uk
Follow Leo on Instagram @LeoPowell and Twitter @LeoPowell_
Photo credit: Marissa Yesin @marissaworld_x