Red Dwarf star in fundraising mission for Kensal Rise school

PUBLISHED: 06:45 24 April 2015

Danny John-Jules outside the Lexi Cinema, where his film will be screened

Danny John-Jules outside the Lexi Cinema, where his film will be screened

Jonathan Goldberg

It’s no space spoof: a Kensal Rise actor is raising funds for a primary school piano with a special screening of his short film.

Princess Frederica School is in Kensal Rise (Pic credit: Google Streetview)Princess Frederica School is in Kensal Rise (Pic credit: Google Streetview)

Red Dwarf star Danny John Jules needs to raise £700 to pay for the other half of a piano donated to Princess Frederica Cof E Primary School in College Road, Kensal Rise, which his own two children attend.

Bucky, a 25-minute short film seen through the eyes of a five-year-old boy who comes face to face with disaster, is screening at the Lexi Cinema, in nearby Chamberlayne Road, on April 28 at 7pm. A minimum donation of £6 is requested.

Using pupils from the school in the film, Mr Jules thought it would be nice to give something back to the school, and noticing the bad condition of their piano he knew how to do it. He said: “I do motorbike charity rides and have been negotiating with Yamaha for about six years. The guy who runs Yamaha music used to run the motorbike department and he got me a 50 per cent discount for a digital piano for the school.”

Having shot part of his film during a live school assembly with pupils singing one of the songs, he decided to start a fundraiser to get them new equipment.

He said that while the film which he wrote, produced and directed stars the youngsters, it is not for their viewing.

“It’s a hard hitting film, it’s not Mickey Mouse. Parents whose kids are in it have already received invites but the kids in it are not allowed to watch it. It shows how a child’s innocence can be taken away subconsciously, how a child can be influenced by the things around them without the people influencing them realising.

“It’s one of those ones where you ask yourself ‘do I do that?’”

He admitted that watching his own children, Dante, nine, and seven-year-old Danae inspired his idea as he watched his son spin round the kitchen on a tricycle after watching motorbike races.

The film, which stars Colin Salmon and Casualty star Amanda Mealing, is expected to pull in local celebrities such as former Arsenal footballer Ian Wright.

Mr Jules added: “We have a local cinema so obviously we need local films now. Luckily it’s a charity-based cinema, so all round, it’s perfect.”

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