A new film written, directed and funded by an 18-year-old which shines a light on the difficulties of being “another black boy from the estate” will be released today.
Clued Up is Croydon native Callan Allen’s independent film in which he also plays the lead role of Theo, writes James Twomey.
Taking from his own experiences growing up mixed race in South London, Callan brings to light the issues around transitioning from a child to an adult, the decisions of how we handle life and the domino effect of one wrong turn.
Callan, pictured, said: “Growing up in such a multicultural part of London I got to witness things first hand especially being mixed race. “I got to see the ‘gang’ side of South London but also see what my middle-class friends were going through.
“Being told ‘you’re not black enough to be black’ nor ‘not white enough to be white’ I found myself almost being a chameleon depending who I was hanging out with.
“This made me want to create my own opportunities and start writing to what I feel and know is real and will resonate with young people so well.
That’s why this story was so important for me to tell, it isn’t a case of some middle-aged writers throwing together what they think young people are going through…it’s coming first hand from someone who’s just lived it.”
Callan started acting from the age of nine when he appeared as Young Shenzi in the West End’s Lion King.
Following this Callan attended Shirley High Performing Arts School and the Brit School at weekends where he studied Theatre.
Callan said: “I wanted it to be an amazing first project, so people could see past my age. Both my parents were very supportive of me and my career.
“Unfortunately my father passed away whilst filming for Clued Up.
He was so happy that I decided to write, and produce, so it made me want to work that extra bit harder when it comes to my career, especially writing.”
You can find Callan’s new film on Amazon to stream and download from June 14.