a boy called dadA Territorial Army hall might seem an odd choice to screen a tender and intimate new film showcasing a cast of heavyweight local talent. But, next week, a new film by BAFTA award-winning director Brian Percival (who’s also directed such small screen gems as Pleasureland and North & South) gets a rare showing at Prenton’s Chetwynd TA Centre.

A Boy Called Dad is written by BAFTA winning screenwriter Julie Rutterford (Ashes To Ashes, Life On Mars, Teachers) and, while the venue might be strange, it’s a homecoming of sorts as Percival and Rutterford both live on the Wirral.

The film will be screened to launch 3rd Wirral International Film Festival, and stars Liverpool actor Ian Hart. It tells the story of Robbie, a 14 year old boy who has just become a father. Abandoned by his own father Joe, Robbie snatches his baby son and goes on the run…

The evening – in which Brian and Julie will discuss the making of the film, and answer a range of questions from the audience – forms part of the Clapperboard Presents season of films and talks starring some of the region’s leading film makers and actors.

a boy called dadAs Clapperboard’s Director, Maureen Sinclair explains, it’s also an effective way to shine the spotlight on this film-making charity and the excellent work it does, with little funding from the industry itself.

Clapperboard was conceived as a way to help young people address those weighty themes – sexuality, gang culture and gender – in a way that, hopefully, is creative and effective. Think Hollyoaks but without the calendars. Or paparazzi bust-ups.

“Clapperboard Presents is a way for us to raise funds as well as exposure, and we’ve had fun working with a variety of the talented local artists including Tushingham, Willy Russell, David Morrissey and Frank Cottrell Boyce,” Sinclair says.

Furture confirmed artists for the next six months include Christopher Eccleston, Paul Abbott, Colin McKeown, Ken Loach, Robert Carlyle, Gurinder Chada and Mike Leigh.

“I’m a great admirer of Julie’s and Brian’s work, and this is their first low budget film. As they live on the Wirral it seems only right that we stage a night there,” Sinclair says.

It’s a rare night when two BAFTA winning industry professionals share their advice, their stories and their reflections on the state of the arts in the northwest. So this event, coupled with the chance to support the work of Clapperboard, promises to be worth investigating. And, by all accounts, you’ll get a great locally-made film thrown in too. And there’s not so many of them at the ODEON these days.

“The industry don’t always rate young people’s short films, but then the industry develops dross for our intake every day,” Sinclair says. “If we can change the direction of just one young person’s negative journey through making a short film in a collective way then we’re winning…which could not be said by a lot of people in the creative or media industries these days!”

“It was always my dream to direct a feature film but to be able to direct part of it on my own doorstep made the dream even more special,” Director Brian Percival says.

“The icing on the cake is to have our film screened on the Wirral. We hope its a successful night, and we’re more than happy to stay and answer any questions on the film, the film industry or any of the topics we cover. The night is an excellent opportunity for new and established media and creative players to network ideas and support for everyone’s benefit.”


A Boy Called Dad
Monday 27th September 6.30pm for a 7pm start.
T.A. Centre Chetwynd,
Wexford Rd, Prenton
Tickets £5 from: info@clapperboarduk.com
Tel. 0151 224 0532