Taylor-Jai Horsley plays Michael in The Golden Boy

Greenwich director to debut with film about autism

A director from Thamesmead, Greenwich is to release her first ever film about a boy on the autism spectrum disorder this December. 

The Golden Boy is a drama, inspired by director Elizabeth Peace’s experiences as a carer to her younger autistic brother.

The short film follows the struggles of a non-verbal six-year-old, who has been set aside for being disruptive to the class.

Peace, also a University of Manchester graduate, said: “I’m excited to share what has been nearly four years in the making with this film. 

“It’s a heartfelt story centred on an unlikely family dealing with quite a sensitive issue. 

“When the world insists on conformity, audiences will have their imaginations open through an autistic child’s eyes. 

“Taylor-Jai, who plays our beloved six-year-old, exudes innocence and curiosity in every scene. 

“He was phenomenal on set and took everything in stride, I couldn’t be prouder. 

“The same also goes for our actors and superb, hard-working crew.”

The 25-year-old director also feels, although the story is personal to her, it features relatable themes of being from minority backgrounds.

She added: “Whether you are Black British, have a disability, be it visible or invisible, or are from a minority background, it pulls on people’s heartstrings.”

Peace, of Nigerian descent, said the film also calls attention to the harsh reality of being from a minority working-class background from a deprived area. 

The film was produced by Oscar Award winning production company Slick Films, who also produced The Silent Child, after Peace approached them with the story. 

Peace was unsure about her proposal given her background in theatre and said: “It was phenomenal that Slick Films said yes to me. I’m super grateful they jumped on board.”

Peace graduated from the Oxford School of Drama in 2020. 

The Golden Boy crowdsourced over £4,000 of donations to fund its production.

To find out more, to donate or to get access to behind the scenes footage, click here.

Featured image credit: Lydia Huerta

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