Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fans listen up – Sir Ian McKellen will attend two exclusive fundraiser Q&A screenings of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, in which he reprises the role of Gandalf, at the Genesis Cinema on Friday 21st December in support of East End charity Step Forward.

Sir Ian who is patron of Step Forward has been an active supporter of the charity, which works with young people in Tower Hamlets, since 1996.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated version of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, is the first of a trilogy of films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s enduring masterpiece.

Step Forward is an independent charity committed to improving the health, well being and life chances of local young people aged 11-25 affected by poverty and disadvantage in Tower Hamlets. The charity offers a range of free and confidential counselling and support services, helping young people deal with any difficulties in their life or recover from past trauma or abuse. Through their purpose built centre in Bethnal Green they offer a place of sanctuary which inspires and encourages 2,000 young people a year to realise their self-worth, raise their aspirations and reach their full potential in life.

Like many charities in London Step Forward has been affected by public sector cuts and reduction in funding across the board.

“Step Forward is so impressive to visit, welcoming and utterly committed to helping local young people,” says Sir Ian. “It is amazing that such an evidently worthwhile project does not receive the funding necessary to continue its vital work. I am very happy and honoured to be a Patron for Step Forward and support its aim to continue providing essential support services over the coming years.”

Genesis cinema’s owner Tyrone Walker-Hebborn was introduced to the East End Charity when he attended a recent event hosted by Charity CEO Jennifer Fear and Sir Ian McKellen.

Jennifer Fear CEO said: “It was great Step Forward and the Genesis cinema can work together to create a once in lifetime opportunity for people to talk to Ian about The Hobbit on the film’s release, whilst at the same time raising much needed funds for Step Forward. We can’t wait for the 21st, it’s going to be a great night!”

Tyrone Walker-Hebborn said about supporting Step Forward and hosting the Q&As at the Genesis: “Being born in the East End the thing I love most about the area is one of the things that unfortunately brings its own problems, diversity. That is why I fully support Step Forward, they also appreciate the problems that cultural, sexual & racial diversity involve & the way they address them in a completely open and non-judgemental way, especially with the young people. We’re thrilled to be working with Sir Ian McKellen and Step Forward for the Charity screenings of The Hobbit.”

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, (12A, r/t: 170 minutes).
Special Charity Fundraiser screenings on Friday 21st December:
18:30 (Screen 1), 19:00 (Screen 5)
Q&As with Sir Ian McKellan before each screening
At The Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Rd, London. E1 4UJ.

Tickets are £20 for Screen 1 and VIP tickets for Screen 5 are being auctioned. Tickets for Screen 1 are now on sale through the Genesis Cinema Box Office: 020 7780 2000 or online booking here. Ticket prices will include a donation of £10 to Step Forward on each ticket.

VIP tickets for the private screening in Studio 5 which seats 40 people will be auctioned by Step Forward via Ebay from the 8th December. The tickets are in batches of 2,3 and 4 tickets and the auctions will last 7 days. The auction will give you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Sir Ian McKellen and get your photo taken, join him for a special Q&A session, and a viewing of the film.

To find out more about Step Forward, visit the charity’s blog here.

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