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Sir Ian McKellen lends iconic voice to Arts and Festival Management graduate's film

Arts and Festival Management graduate Rhys Chapman's film director ambitions received a huge boost with help from Sir Ian Mckellen

Rhys Chapman's passion for film began whilst he was studying Arts and Festival Management at LSBU, and now he has been able to realise his ambitions by producing a short film, with some help from some famous faces.

Work experience

Throughout the course, Rhys had a work placement with LAW magazine which gave him the opportunity to direct and edit short films. After graduating, he began work with a small production company based in Soho, assisting with the production of music videos and commercials for brands such as Sony and,  as well as record labels such as Southern Fried Records, Eton Messy Music and Freestyle Records.

The work placement units helped me gain valuable practical experience in the film industry while the theoretical modules on my course gave me the knowledge behind the creations. 

Rhys Chapman

Going solo

Wanting to produce his own short film, he launched a crowd-funding campaign and film project. His dream was given a huge boost when Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen agreed to lend his iconic voice to the pilot film.

Kickstarter campaign

Within just two months Rhys had raised the money he needed through public donations on Kickstarter, even attracting support on social media from other celebrities including Stephen Fry and Alan Carr. In another Hollywood tie-in, The Kevin Spacey Foundation also made a generous contribution to the funding total.


Rhys' short film - entitled Wonderkid - will follow a young professional football player coming to terms with his sexuality and searching for acceptance in a hyper masculine environment. The film will aim to challenge the perceptions of athletes and highlight the pressure they face living up to the identity society has created for them.

It's an honour to receive support from such influential and admirable individuals. Without their backing and the knowledge I received at LSBU, my vision would not have come to life so soon and I am truly grateful.

Rhys Chapman