Rhys Chapman is a fen boy, a man after my own heart. The Fens is a flat farmland community where the well-trodden path is to leave school and get a trade under your belt. Play it safe and don't stray too far.
Rhys hit a dead end when the recession bit Britain in 2008, and he became unemployed. When he realised that he had nothing to lose, he decided to move to London. "I used to have to wait an hour to get a bus and now I get annoyed if there's three minutes to wait for a train."
Despite initial obstacles, Rhys graduated from London South Bank University and has laid out a career for himself in film, with the premise of using the medium to engage and educate audiences.
Tackling one of the most important issues in sport today, Wonderkid shines a light on homophobia in football in a thirty-minute film, due to premiere in Leicester Square in November. At twenty-six, Rhys is a young gun in the game. What sets him apart, aside from what he modestly describes as "serendipity," is his unfaltering commitment to the Wonderkid project.
Through engaging himself in LGBT culture, Rhys has allowed his experiences to inform Wonderkid and create something that authentically considers an often-overlooked community. "I fully immersed myself in everything; playing for a gay football team, going to watch Arsenal with the Gay Gooners and going to as many LGBT events as possible."
Starting out as a Kickstarter-funded project that rocketed with the help of Sir Ian McKellen, Wonderkid has gone on to garner support from football heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur, Watford FC and Adidas.
The main goal of the film is to confront homophobia in football on a broader level and challenge the outdated, negative perceptions. Through working with charities such as Kick It Out and Galop, Wonderkid hopes to open dialogue about the issue and aims to, "create an environment in football that is accepting of gay players and fans."
"It's such a simple and emotional portrayal of what someone in football might go through dealing with this issue. We can use it as a real force for good," Rhys explains. "The core message of the film is to be yourself."
Law worked on the art direction and costume for Wonderkid. The production levels were incredible and it was amazing to see Rhys in his element, call the shots.
Set light to screens and follow your dreams, Rhys.