Last night we launched the new film we created; Alfie’s Story. Its early days, though already the film has been televised as the lead news story on BBC and ITV, plus it’s had thousands of organic views on YouTube and Facebook from people sharing telling others that they NEED to watch the film.
We should probably give you some background: we’ve worked on Not in our community for the past 4 years and now it’s developed into a campaign that no longer just focuses on one type of exploitation. This week we launched our first film tackling Criminal Exploitation, made with the help of ‘This is England’ star Thomas Turgoose.
Alfie’s Story, tells the story of a 13-year old boy who is groomed and criminally exploited by a gang as part of a drug operation known by the Police as county lines. The script and storyline for Alfie’s Story is based on professional intelligence and has been co-produced with young people including survivors of criminal exploitation to ensure that it reflects how things are in real life.
One of the main purposes of the film is to break down the audience’s attitudes to young people involved in criminal behaviour, encouraging them to look beyond what they might see straight away and understand they may be victims of exploitation.
Throughout the writing process survivors involved told us that they identified with what Alfie experiences and felt the films creation was a positive thing to help their community understand how criminal exploitation can work so that they can keep their eyes and ears open to situations where young people might need help.
Alfie’s Story features local actors cast from over 150 applicants who attended open casting sessions in Hull and Grimsby in early October. We were assisted by Grimsby-actor Thomas Turgoose who was picked for his first movie role, starring as Shaun in This is England, after attending open casting at a community centre in his hometown. Tommy, helped select the lead roles of the young males and provided coaching and tips to the young actor playing the lead role of Alfie on set.
When researching the topic it becomes clear that general knowledge and understanding child criminal exploitation is currently at the level we were with child sexual exploitation 5 years ago, and indeed the local police and councils, along with Not in our community are some of the forerunners in raising awareness and pushing it forward as an agenda item.
The film can be viewed at Not in our community’s social media accounts now!
Here it is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV_EbjNklec
For more information about grooming and exploitation visit www.notinourcommunity.org if you or a young person is in immediate danger you should dial 999.