Ellie, a 9-year-old girl from an abusive household, tries to escape her reality by taking refuge in a scrapyard with her friend Pete. There, they build a new home and dream of another existence.

Director’s Vision for ‘Yard Kings’

With families in lockdown worldwide in 20/21, hotlines were lighting up with abuse reports. The violence became more frequent and severe. Since cases have increased by 20%, I couldn’t imagine a better time to tell this story and give a voice to those kids.

Both little Dave and Elle were street-cast and first-timers from London. Both were invited to collaborate in the writing process and adapt the dialogue to their speaking way. Also, the crew filmed during regular business hours at the scrapyard, so a few performances in the final cut are genuine from real workers. This approach contributed to the overall realistic feel we aimed for, warning the viewer that this story is not so far from our reality.

It is a personal topic for me, and it was challenging to portray a social issue outside of my cultural zone. London is a complicated city, filled with all kinds of truths and contradictions, and I wanted to find my own emotional connection to it since my time there was such a significant chapter of my life.