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Aspiring film director Christian Whittaker from Worth needs your vote to win award

By Eleanor Perkins

An aspiring film director who created a short film based on his late great-grandparents’ love letters needs your votes to help him win an award.

Christian Whittaker, 26, of Chestnut Drive, Worth, produced My Dearest Jean, a 10-minute film, telling the story of how former Ash residents Jim and Jean Yale fell in love.

It was shot in the old streets of Sandwich, at Dover Transport Museum, the Vintage Empire cafe in Herne Bay and the Spa Valley Railway in Royal Tunbridge Wells over three days, and screened for the first time at the Empire Cinema in Sandwich last month.

Director of My Dearest Jean Christian Whittaker

Director of My Dearest Jean Christian Whittaker

Since then, it has been accepted into a film festival called Love Shorts Film Festival.

Jayne Domingo, Mr Whittaker’s fiancée who plays Jean in the screenplay, said: “It’s an online festival and in order to win the audience award, we require votes from the public.”

Mr Whittaker, a former pupil of Archers Court in Dover, graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with a degree in television and film production in 2011.

He has since risen from a runner to a third assistant director working on the likes of Vendetta starring Danny Dyer and TV dramas such as Broadchurch, Holby City and upcoming The Loch.

Director Christian Whittaker and actress Jayne Domingo at the screening of My Dearest Jean at The Empire cinema in Sandwich

Director Christian Whittaker and actress Jayne Domingo at the screening of My Dearest Jean at The Empire cinema in Sandwich

He describes the film as a love triangle between Jean, RAF serviceman Jim and an American soldier, Cally.

Cally had shown an interest in Jean, promising to whisk her off to the States to live the American Dream.

But, despite the odds, including Jim and Jean’s differing backgrounds and Jim’s stammer, the love between the pair prevailed.

Having discovered their old love letters at Christmas 2015, Mr Whittaker wrote the script in two and a half weeks and carefully selected a cast. It is his film debut.

The full cast of My Dearest Jean

The full cast of My Dearest Jean

Mr Whittaker said: “Becoming a professional and established director of film has been a life-long dream and ambition for me, so to know I am making my way in the right direction is an achievement.

“Having people who believe in me, such as the fantastic cast and crew, was hugely inspirational and then to be accepted for a festival was truly amazing. If My Dearest Jean won the audience award it would just be incredible.”

My Dearest Jean can be viewed here. Voting, via the same link, runs until 7am on Tuesday, February 28.

He added: “I feel a film should entertain or inform and in some cases both, so to know my film is being enjoyed and appreciated by people to the point that they want to vote lets me know I am doing the right thing.”


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