Pulse pounding independent film The Correction Unit stars young people impacted or involved in gang-violence and knife crime.

The film tells the story of Shawn, a boy trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of crime in a city stricken with violence and poverty. He is given the chance to supposedly start over at nTrac, a new AI educational facility, after being expelled from another young offenders’ institute.

Image: Clapper Board

The upcoming sci-fi thriller written and directed by local film-maker Derry Shillitto hopes to  kickstart the career of Nottingham young actors.

“I was on a path to go to prison, Having this opportunity completley changed my life”

– Zak Hopkinson, actor in The Correction Unit

Derry says that “When casting this film we wanted to give opportunities to young actors who may not have the opportunity to get paid for creative work or need a creative outlet.”

Video: Derry Shillitto talks about the casting process

Sentencing statistics from the Ministry of Justice shows that in the year ending March 2023, there were just over 19,000 cautions and convictions made for possession of a knife or offensive weapon. Juveniles (aged 10-17) were the offenders in around 18% of cases.

In the 12 months to March 2021, Nottinghamshire Police recorded 703 violent knife crime offences. a year later it has risen to 809.

The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield has labelled Nottingham as one of the most ‘high risk’ cities for children to become gang members.

Nottinghamshire police have also said violence with injury has also risen since the pandemic, with the re-opening of the night economy.

Source: Nottinghamshire Police

Lead actress Elleese Bradshaw, playing Tish Murphy, was present at the scene where a young male was stabbed outside Nottingham college last year. She says, “having witnessed the stabbing approximately a metre away from me, I am able to channel the emotions I felt at the time into my acting.”

Image: Behind the scenes filming ‘The Correction Unit.’

Zak Hopkinson, who plays the role of Jacob, says before being given this opportunity he “didn’t have a lot to care about, I didn’t have my parents and I only had a few friends who were involved in the wrong things. Being part of this lets me see life from a different perspective.”

Video: Zak talks about his experience

With a distribution deal secured and 85% of the film shot, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help with the completion of the film.

To help fund post-production, click here to visit Derry’s Linkedin page

For more information about The Correction Unit’s crowd funder visit https://greenlit.com/project/correction-unit

Official trailer of upcoming feature film: The Correction Unit