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15th November 2018

A project which works to reduce knife crime is to feature in a new campaign celebrating the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

The Carry a Basketball Not a Blade (CABNAB) educational initiative appears in the National Lottery Legend series which has been specially developed in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

Run by the Newham All Star Sports Academy charity, CABNAB combines basketball coaching with talks about the dangers of knife crime and gang culture. After their basketball skills training, participants are given awareness talks on various topics affecting their lives in one of London’s most disadvantaged boroughs, such as how to deal with peer pressure and how to take responsibility for their actions.

The CABNAB story was selected by young Dagenham film maker Byran Ferrol who is a graduate of the BFI’s educational programmes which are supported by National Lottery funding. During the project Byran was mentored by George Amponsah who directed the National Lottery funded film The Hard Stop.

Byran said “Knife crime in the London has been a huge problem for far too long. Often the consequences are devastating but I wanted to shine a light on people out there doing something positive to combat it and also bring the subject some humanity and realism. It is happening today on our streets and affecting real people.”

Natasha Hart MBE, Chief Executive of Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA), said: “It is so heartwarming to see what we do encapsulated on film. Byran understands East London and he has portrayed this important issue that NASSA faces every day in its true light. Our dream has always been to spread the CABNAB message across the UK. Now it will be thanks to the BFI and the National Lottery, whose funding helped to set up Carry A Basketball Not A Blade 10 years ago.”

Jonathan Tuchner, director of the National Lottery Promotions Unit, added: “National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes across the UK. Our National Lottery legends come in all shapes and forms. They are the ordinary people in our society who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. The National Lottery helps amazing projects like Carry A Basketball Not A Blade to change lives. National Lottery players can be very proud to have helped support such an amazing project.”

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “For thousands of young people, the idea of a career in film has been an impossible dream but now in its seventh year, the BFI Film Academy is changing that. The National Lottery Legends film CABNAB - Carry a Basketball Not a Blade by filmmaker Byran Ferrol from East London, is a terrific example of how the Academy is helping young people develop skills and careers in film and the related industries whilst shining a light on some of the inspirational people who do amazing things in their own communities with National Lottery funding.

“Some 5,000 young people aged 16-19 have gone through the doors of the BFI Film Academy thanks to the support of the National Lottery, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and the many individuals from the industry who enthusiastically share their experience and offer guidance to students.”

The project appears in the National Lottery Legend campaign which celebrates the life changing difference made by people and project across the UK.

The CABNAB story and that of more National Lottery Legends can be viewed here:


Notes to editors

National Lottery players raise £30m each week for good causes. For more information on good causes please visit

About the BFI Film Academy

The BFI Film Academy aims to help train and inspire the next generation of UK filmmakers, supporting talented and committed young people aged 16-19 to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film a reality.

The BFI Film Academy offers training for every film industry role, from writing and directing through to production, sound design, editing and camera, and provides learning around film history and cinematic storytelling to inspire an appreciation of film culture in the round.

The BFI Film Academy contributes to a core aim of the BFI’s 2022 strategy which aims to provide everyone with the opportunity to build a lifelong relationship with film; to create a clear progression paths for talented young people and to ensure that film is celebrated and explored in formal education.

The BFI Film Academy is supported by the Department for Education in England, the National Lottery, Northern Ireland and Screen Scotland.

About the BFI

At the BFI we support, nurture and promote the art of film, television and the moving image. A charity, funded by Government and earned income, and a distributor of National Lottery funds, we are at the heart of the UK’s fast growing screen industries, protecting the past and shaping their future across the UK. We work in partnership with cultural organisations, government and industry to make this happen. We bring our world-class cultural programmes and unrivalled national collections to audiences everywhere, and promote learning about our art-form and its heritage. We support the future success of film in the UK by nurturing new voices and fresh ideas, enriching independent British film culture, challenging the UK's screen industries to innovate and defining Britain and its storytellers in the 21st century.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

Pic caption:

Natasha Hart MBE, Chief Executive of Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA), (3rd right) with film maker Byron Ferrol (2nd right) at premiere event hosted by the National Lottery and the BFI to celebrate their inclusion in the National Lottery Legend campaign. Also pictured are BAFTA award winning director Lucy Cohen, Shaneeka Murray-Sinclair & Stephanie Facey (NASSA) and Dunkirk actor Charley Palmer Rothwell.

For more information and further images, please contact:

Ruairi O’Kane on 07788612804 or email Ruairi.o’