Screenbound Pictures Announce The Release And Special Charity Screening Premiere Of BIG BOYS DON’T CRY In Support Of Kids Inspire | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Screenbound Pictures Announce The Release And Special Charity Screening Premiere Of BIG BOYS DON’T CRY In Support Of Kids Inspire

12 August 2022

Where: Everyman Chelmsford 

When: Monday 5th September 2022 @ 7pm & 7:45pm starts 

Tickets now on SALE HERE   

Screenings followed by Q&A panel with: 

Paul Connolly (author & inspiration behind the film) 

Sue Bell OBE (Chief Executive & Clinical Director @ Kids Inspire) 

Ruthie Henshall (Patron of Kids Inspire and Olivier award-winning actress) 

Richard Hart (Executive Producer of Big Boys Don’t Cry

Hosted by: 

Paula Ashfield (Head of Fundraising & Communications @ Kids Inspire) 

To launch the release of new feature film Big Boys Don’t Cry, Screenbound Pictures will be premiering the film at the Everyman Chelmsford on Monday 5th September helping to raise funds for the charity Kids Inspire. The screenings will be followed by a special Q&A hosted by Paula Ashfield, Head of Fundraising & Communications at Kids Inspire, where she will be joined by author and inspiration behind the film Paul Connolly, chief executive and clinical director of Kids Inspire Sue Bell OBE, Olivier award-winning actress and Patron of the charity Ruthie Henshall and the film’s executive producer Richard Hart. 



Following Paul Connolly’s harrowing yet inspirational true life story, having grown up in the notorious St Leonard’s Children’s Home in Hornchurch in the 1970s, Big Boys Don’t Cry sees Paul, played by Michael Socha, recall his traumatic childhood at the home following a police investigation into his boyhood friend's suicide. As Paul struggles to build a relationship with Anthea (Zoë Tapper), he is forced to confront those responsible for his shattered childhood and the death of his friend. 

Many others suffered various forms of abuse by the home’s staff and the housemaster, Bill Starling, was eventually jailed in 2001 for 14 years for the horrific crimes he committed.



Big Boys Don’t Cry is a story of perseverance in adversity as Sue Bell OBE, Clinical Director and CEO of Kids Inspire, has remarked “Paul Connolly’s story is one of hope. After experiencing years of extreme abuse at St Leonard’s children’s home in Essex, followed by years of gang-related violence in London, he turned his life around. Despite leaving the care system illiterate, today Paul is a specialist physiotherapist and sports injury expert, personal trainer and best-selling author. He works with charities and advocates for victims of historical child abuse. Above all else, he is the proud father of two boys. 

We provide specialist trauma-informed therapy and support to children and young people just like Paul. Our sincere thanks go to him for supporting Kids Inspire’s services, raising awareness of the adversity children and young people can face and for inspiring hope for a positive future.” 

Paul is so pleased to be working with Kids Inspire again and on this special screening of the film based on his life “After I first published my story in Against All Odds I have been contacted by hundreds, if not thousands, of people thanking me for opening up about what went on in children’s homes in the UK in the 1960’s and 70’s. My most recent book – Not Normal is the inspiration for Big Boys Don’t Cry and gave me an opportunity to tell even more of our story – especially on behalf of those who are no longer with us or who felt unable to speak up in the way I have. 

The books and now the film have opened doors I never expected and shone a light where many still tried to hide – I have been to hell and back not just with my early experiences, but in telling my story through the books and now this film. It cost me nearly everything I hold dear, but it must be told. Even now there are pressures on children from many directions and abuse takes on many forms. 

Kids Inspire do amazing work and I hope that between us and with this film reaching a wider audience, we will continue to make positive changes together.” 



Big Boys Don’t Cry will be screening in the UK with special charity partners + available on DVD from 5th September. Available to rent & buy on VOD from 7th October 2022.

Theatrical & DVD release date: from 5th September 2022 

VOD release date: 7th October 2022 on all major platforms 

DVD Special Features: Behind the Scenes Teasers | Christoulla Boodram interview Paul Connolly on the Chrissy B Show | Theatrical Trailer 

Running Time: 90mins 

BBFC Cert: 18 

Distributor: Screenbound Pictures 



Find Screenbound Pictures on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Find Kids Inspire on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Find Paul Connolly on Twitter and Instagram.

Cast & Creatives: 

Paul played by: Michael Socha (This is England, Once Upon a Time, Being Human

Anthea played by: Zoë Tapper (Grace, Rules of the Game, Liar) 

Young Paul played by: Mitchell Norman (GiantlandThe Dare) 

Liam played by: Joshua Coombes (Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

Directed by: Steve Crowhurst 

Adapted by: Steve Crowhurst with Kal Bonner (additional material) 

Based on true events and the life of author Paul Connolly 

Producers: Kal BonnerTim BonnerSunita Mirchandani & Alex Scott 

Executive Producers: Paul Connolly & Richard Hart 

About Paul Connolly 
Born in East London in 1962, the seventh son of Irish immigrants, Paul spent his childhood at the St Leonard’s home in Hornchurch, Essex, after being abandoned by his mother. He was physically and mentally abused at the site, and his housemaster, Bill Starling, was later jailed for 14 years for the crimes. The story of Paul Connolly, a celebrity fitness trainer who endured an appalling childhood, proved so popular it outsold Stieg Larsson’s crime thriller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in the Amazon Kindle charts. His books Against All OddsBeating the Odds and Not Normal (now re-released as Big Boys Don’t Cry) are available now and more information on Paul and his work can be found here: PAUL CONNOLLY 

About Kids Inspire
Kids Inspire empowers children, young people, and families to make positive change. The charity based in Great Baddow, Essex provides support for recovery from traumatic experiences and help to deal with emerging mental health difficulties across the county and regionally. 

Bespoke plans of treatment are created for each service user, often inclusive of parallel family support, with the aim of promoting greater self-awareness and positive relationships. The team use creative trauma-informed therapy to encourage body/mind reconnection. By focusing on the strengths of the child and family our services help to build and nurture a life-long sustainable resilience.  To find out more please visit or follow them on social media. 

About Sue Bell OBE, Clinical Director and CEO at Kids Inspire 
Founder of Kids Inspire, a children’s mental health charity based in Essex, Sue is an accredited Integrative Arts Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (UKCP). Recognising the need for specialist trauma interventions in her work, Sue extended her training to include Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, CATT, NeuroAffective Touch, Integral Somatic Psychology and DDP. 

Before training as a Psychotherapist, Sue was a teacher. She would hear daily about distressing situations of intergenerational abuse and neglect and mental health challenges, and it quickly became clear to her that there was nowhere for children to turn to for support.  As a result, she noticed children were engaging in self-harm and risky behaviours, such as alcohol/drug abuse and abusive/coercive relationships, they were experiencing educational exclusion, social isolation and poor family relationships. Sue identified a gap in children’s mental health services and a need for change.  In 2007, Sue founded Kids Inspire – a registered charity that places the child at the centre and delivers family-inclusive trauma informed mental health services. 


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