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First-time Kent filmmakers raise money to complete The Rough Gig after lockdown

A group of first-time film makers are hoping to raise money to complete their send-up of Kent life, which was abruptly halted by the Covid-19 lockdown.

The 50-strong team behind The Rough Gig started a crowdfunding campaign this week, as they seek to bring in £6,000 for equipment, props and location permits.

The Rough Gig is hoped to be unveiled by the end of the year (36067599)
The Rough Gig is hoped to be unveiled by the end of the year (36067599)

They will also donate a portion of the funds to one of four shortlisted Kent groups - East Kent Hospitals Charity, WarriorKind®, Wingham Wildlife Park and the Marlowe Theatre - with the final benefactor being selected by a vote later.

Highlighting Kent's scenery and acting talent, The Rough Gig is a self-genred “comfort comedy” and has mostly been filmed around Ashford, Wye, Hastingleigh and Canterbury.

The actors themselves are mostly from Ashford, with others coming from Maidstone.

The flick follows successful comedian Ryan Howe - played by Ryan Hill - who utilises odd characters from his home village in his routines.

However he's preparing to do a stand-up gig back where it all began, playing to the very people he mocked earlier in his career.

Filming took place at a number of Kent locations, including in The Royal Oak, Mersham (36067463)
Filming took place at a number of Kent locations, including in The Royal Oak, Mersham (36067463)

Producer Nicola Harrison, from Kennington, told KentOnline: "The idea's loosely based on a true story - the lead actor Ryan Hill wrote it about him and a friend who put on comedy shows together and they'd always end up being kind of quirky and something would always go wrong.

"We always loved hearing about these shows and our director Dana Kovalkova suggested it would be fun if he wrote a film script about his experiences.

"We've all worked on different projects together in the past, and we started suggesting people who could help out."

Featuring a cast of kooky characters including frisky grannies and a slightly inappropriate vicar, the production has already earned recognition.

Taking a break while filming in Wye. Pictured are Ryan Hill, Chris Roughly, Dana Ben, Benjamin David and Richard Fox (36067461)
Taking a break while filming in Wye. Pictured are Ryan Hill, Chris Roughly, Dana Ben, Benjamin David and Richard Fox (36067461)

It was awarded 'Best Pitch' at the Cine Circle UK Film & TV Job Fair against about 20 other films.

Despite having already made headway on shooting, the team had only filmed a third of The Rough Gig before the lockdown came in and so the crew are looking for help ahead of resuming.

The IndieGoGo fundraiser is offering rewards for donations, ranging from posters to being an extra or having your name in the credits - including being named a co-producer.

Ms Harrison, 34, continued: "In supporting the film not only are you supporting what will be a high quality project made by local people, you would also be supporting one of Kent's amazing charities in the process. It's fun, it's feel good and will bring joy to many people.

Director Dana Kovalkova also came up with the idea based on Ryan Hill's stories (36067471)
Director Dana Kovalkova also came up with the idea based on Ryan Hill's stories (36067471)

"We're aiming to resume filming with the full cast and crew in 5 weeks if government guidelines allow us to. But in the mean time we have a few external shots that can be done whilst we wait for lockdown restrictions to be eased."

For more information, visit The Rough Gig's Facebook page.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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