Manchester United Foundation and Twentieth Century Fox treated pupils from 10 Foundation partner schools to an exclusive screening of the latest film, The Kid Who Would Be King.
The film, which sees a young boy stumble upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur, and unite with his friends and enemies to take on the wicked enchantress Morgana, proved a bit hit with the children who took away valuable lessons about friendship, leadership and teamwork.
The screening was held at the Everyman cinema in Altrincham, which very kindly supported the event by providing popcorn, drinks and lunch so the children could have the full cinema experience. This proved a wonderful occasion for the pupils, some of whom had never been to the cinema before.
Once the film had finished, writer and director Joe Cornish and Manchester United legend Wes Brown made surprise guest appearances and joined the children for a Q&A session.
“I think this is an incredibly valuable event,” said Joe. “As a film maker you want your stories to reach everybody and it’s fantastic that the Foundation has been able to bring children to have this experience.
“It was lovely to see the children really enjoying the movie and engaging with the Q&A and it’s interesting how lots of people of different ages, from different backgrounds, very quickly share the same values.”
At the end of the event both Joe and Wes made the children’s day, by posing for photos and signing autographs.
Former Reds defender Wes commented on the shared values between the film and Manchester United Foundation: “I’ve done a few things for the Foundation; we often go into schools and try and make children realise that yes, you can work hard as an individual, but like when you’re playing football, it’s important to work hard as a unit and come together as a team to help each other out”.
The event proved a success with the children, as 12-year-old student Jily-May from Manchester Health Academy commented, “It was very inspiring because the kid in the film stuck up for himself and even when he was told to not believe, he didn’t give up and just kept going. In the end he accomplished what he wanted to do; he did it.
“It was good meeting the director and hearing how he was inspired to make the film, and meeting Wes because I like football myself and he signed autographs and we got pictures with him. We just enjoyed everything.”
Manchester United Foundation has partnerships with 20 high schools across Greater Manchester, at which a dedicated Foundation coach is based full-time to mentor pupils with the aim of developing confidence and leadership skills.