Lenny directs anti-racism film

Project inspired by murdered teenager

Lenny Henry is to direct a short anti-racism film, inspired by the murder of black teenager Anthony Walker.

The aim is that the 20-minute comedy-drama, called Colour Blind, will be shown in schools to combat bigotry.

It was filmed in Liverpool last weeks and features a cast of actors from the city, including Cathy Tyson and Phoenix Nights star Neil Fitzmaurice, and was overssen by former Brookside producer Colin McKeown.

Henry told the Liverpool Echo: ‘I was touched by Anthony’s story and I wanted to help. I wanted to do a black comedy; the film is sad and funny and has redemptive qualities at the end. I want people to laugh and make them cry too.

‘I was invited to a gala dinner by Anthony’s mother Gee back in April last year and I was asked to do a comic routine. Gee said it was the first time she had laughed for about 18 months.

‘I’m amazed at Gee, she is a wonderful woman. She came on the first day of filming and said a prayer at the beginning of the shoot.’

The film is said to be inspired by Watermelon Man, the 1970 Melvin Van Peebles film in which a bigoted white man wakes up one morning to find himself black.

Writer Tony Lindsay added: ‘It is not the Anthony Walker story, but it is in memory of Anthony. The humour will help educate young minds.’

Racist thugs Michael Barton, 20, and Paul Taylor, 17, murdered the 18-year-old in July 2005, near his home in the Huyton area of Liverpool.

Published: 27 Jan 2008

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