WHEN Chess punches Addi it is hard to believe that the boys in lead roles are not professionals.

Such was the force of the punch, filmed on a street in Wembley Park, and the quality of the scene as a whole that the audience at the premiere of the short film collectively gasped.

The nine-minute long 'Addi & Chess' is produced by Scruffbag Productions, a production company based in Brent which works closely with the community in Stonebridge and other areas, and they recruited seven promising young people to co-create the film.

It tells the story of two friends who deal with the realities of life over the course of a day.

The premiere was held at the Lexi Cinema, in Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, on Wednesday last week and everyone was suitably impressed.

Workshops were held by the production company last summer and seven people aged between 16 and 25 were selected to take on acting, writing, directing, producing and shooting of the short film. 

Film poster for Addi and Chess.
 

Morenike Besan, 22, writer, said: “It was really surreal seeing it all on screen, something that was in my head and then was shown in front of everyone.

“I was sitting in my seat and wanted to scream.

“It was just really surreal, that’s the only way I can describe it.

“The whole thing has been crazy.”

Henry Blake, Victoria Bavister and Krissi Mcilquham run Scruffbag Productions and secured funding from Brent Council to run the project after their film ‘The Boxer’, which was filmed in Stonebridge, was greeted with success.

Henry, who led the writing and directing of the latest short film, said: “We wanted to take five people through the process, but we ended up with seven, such was the quality of the people who came to the workshops.

“I am really pleased and really proud of the result.

“I am proud of the structure of the film, how it is set over one day, and the boys did an amazing job at acting and they were really hard working.

“It was a very pleasing experience. If I was to do this again I would give the young people more responsibility, and we would take a step back and let them have more control.”

Hamzah Shah, 16, played Chess and said: “I learnt a lot from everyone around me during the process.

“There was a lot to learn about technique.

“I will definitely go and act again, I am looking for as much as I can.

“I loved doing it, from the day I got the part it kept getting better and better, it was just amazing. I definitely want to do it again.”

The film is measured and thoughtful as well as shocking and violent and the writing, cinematography and performances all shine. And the Brent Civic Centre in Engineers Way, Wembley, plays a prominent role.

Alongside the actors and writer, Kieron Luke Anthony and Andre Fyffe worked as directors, Andrea Barrionuevo was a producer and Reece Allen worked as a cameraman.

Masieh Zarrien, 16, plays Addi and has had a bit of experience of acting before.

He said: “I remember the rehearsal process in Kilburn. It was a bit tough, it was a long process and Henry pushed us and the result was shown today.

“It was worth it. Acting is the best job, it is so enjoyable.

“I haven’t studied it at school, I am more of a mathematical person.

“I love acting though and have carried on auditioning for roles.

“Hopefully I have got one in a television series coming up.”

Masieh also starred in ‘Leave To Remain’, a feature film about asylum seekers arriving in the UK and hopefully has a successful career ahead of him in film.

‘Addi And Chess’ will be shown at film festivals and Henry is hoping it will be seen by a wider audience.

Scruffbag Productions are busy working on ‘Stonebridge’, a feature film which will be shot in the area later this year.