Sheffield schoolgirl, 9, spotted by talent scout in Asda prepares for first feature film
A Sheffield schoolgirl who was first spotted by a talent scout in her local Asda supermarket is shooting her first feature film.
Nine-year-old Izobella Dawson is one of the stars of Moment of Grace, a gritty drama about human trafficking, which is being shot in Cleethorpes and Halifax and is slated for release next year.
She is originally from Chapeltown and it was at the Asda there that her parents were approached by a scout from the modelling agency DK Model & Casting when she was just a toddler.
Izobella, who now lives in Tankersley, Barnsley, has previously appeared in adverts and played Gretl Von Trapp in The Sound of Music at Theatre Royal Wakefield before the pandemic hit, but this is her biggest break to date.
In the film, written by Bernard O'Toole and directed by Keith Farrell, she plays Ruby, who has been raised by her aunt Karen but whose real mum Alison, having been forced into prostitution, is determined to reconnect with her estranged daughter.
Karen Hassan, who plays Alison, appeared in the hit TV crime drama The Fall, while Elva Trill, who plays Karen, has been in Line of Duty.
Izobella’s proud mum Rachel Dawson said: “She’s really excited and we’re all thrilled for her because there will have been thousands of kids who applied for that part.
“She’s enjoying the shoot and says the other cast members are so nice. It’s quite a gritty drama so she’s probably going to be too young to watch it when it does come out.”
With live auditions impossible due to Covid, Izobella had to send videos of her performing scenes from the script, before completing a Zoom interview to secure the role.
Although she has been modelling for years, it was only after joining the theatre dance school RMC Academy of Theatre Performance in Wincobank that she was bitten by the acting bug.
Her teachers there encouraged her to audition for The Sound of Music and she enjoyed the experience so much that her parents found her an agent at Bondi Talent who put her forward for the film.
Izobella, who attends Tankersley St Peter’s Primary School, said: “It’s been really good fun. The first day was so nerve-wracking but all the cast and crew have been amazing. It’s like a little family.”