Hackney prodigy takes to the red carpet

Kaylan Levy starred in a film which has been nominated for an award at the Raindance Festival

Kaylan Levy starred in a film which has been nominated for an award at the Raindance Festival - Credit: Archant

A schoolboy who swapped maths for the Mexican military is back in the limelight.

Kaylan Levy, 11, graced the red carpet on Sunday, after a film in which he plays his first starring role premiered at Raindance Festival.

The Hackney Downs resident discovered a world very different from his everyday while filming for ‘Tierra Caliente’, which depicts an ordinary family who get caught in the crossfire between the Narco drug cartels and the military.

“Going to Mexico for filming was an amazing experience,” said Kaylan, who must wait for seven years until he is old enough to watch the 18-rated movie.

“I really enjoyed the night-time shoot with the horses, and I also had some time off between scenes to visit the local market and the beach.”

Kaylan’s mum Donna, who lives with Kaylan in Charterhouse Road, said she was very proud of the way he’d dealt with the demands placed on him.

“There’s a few emotional scenes, which he handled very well. He’s a very laid-back child, he just takes things as they come.”

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Kaylan has also worked as a child model for Mothercare, Baby Boden and the online M&S Christmas campaign, and featured in everything from Silent Witness to a Babybel commercial. But it’s film that’s really excited him.

“Until this my main roles had been as an extra or supporting artist, so when I got the call from the director to say I had been given the role I was so excited.” Like thousands of 11-year-olds across the country, Kaylan has just started secondary career at Haggerston School.

“He’s settling in well but trying to deal with all the homework he’s given!”

To find out more on Raindance, go to calendar.raindancefestival.org/films/tierra-caliente