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Leeds indie crowdfunds knife crime doc

Former gang member Vilson Dong

A Leeds indie production company is crowdfunding for a new documentary tackling knife crime in the city.

The doc features bereaved mother Sarah Lloyd, knife crime campaigner and mother to Kieran Butterworth, who was murdered in Harehills in 2013, and ex-gang member/ex-young offender Vilson Duarte-Dong, who are partnering with Tell Studio to tackle knife crime culture in Leeds.

The film, Cut Short: Fighting Against Knives in the North, aka simply Cut Short, aims to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife by sharing Sarah’s story of grief and loss and Vilson’s experience of overcoming and escaping Leeds’ gang culture.

It also features interviews with a direct witness of Kieran’s murder, a Leeds General Infirmary trauma surgeon, and young people who carry knives. West Yorkshire Police have also shared statistics on sharps-related confiscations and crimes.

Lloyd said: “Young people are carrying knives because they think it makes them safer. They don’t realise that the consequences of using a knife are far, far worse.”

Duarte-Dong added: “It doesn’t only affect people who are directly involved with the crimes. It affects everyone around them. Everyone should be concerned about this.”

Tell Studio are trying to raise £4,200 through Kickstarter to produce the film. The funding campaign will run until the end of November, with the documentary being shot between 9th-12th December in and around Harehills.

The film’s director, and Tell Studio co-founder, Owen Seabrook said: “We’re making the film in Leeds but it’s representative of knife crime everywhere in the UK. Some young people simply don’t have the guidance to access this information, so we want to bring it to them.”


The film will be shared with schools, community centres and across social media but

Tell Studio hopes to find more ways of reaching young people. The crowdfunding campaign is live now and can be found by searching Cut Short on Kickstarter.

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