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Intense Thanet thriller to hit big screen

FilmmakerSimon Welsford from Margate
FilmmakerSimon Welsford from Margate

Jetsam, Simon Welsford’s groundbreaking and nail-bitingly intense thriller, will be screened at the Carlton Cinema, Westgate, on Saturday.

Isle of Thanet Extra film critic Johnny Messias has reviewed the film, shot in Margate and London, and recently caught up with its Thanet director.

The clever, moody spy-thriller opens when a woman (Alex Reid) is washed up on a beach, with no bearings, no-one apparently around, and no idea how she arrived there.

From this point, backed up by a smart and compelling script, the story takes us through her reconstruction of events, as she struggles with her identity, while getting embroiled in an espionage plot of murderous consequences in London and ultimately Reculver church in Herne Bay.

Simon explained how the story came to him: “Walking around the Thanet coastline, you see all sorts of stuff washed up, but not people usually!

"I got the idea of starting with someone in this situation, not knowing who they are, or how they got there, it’s just not your standard drama.”

In the movie the mysterious plotline is enhanced by the overcast skies and desolate coastline.

Simon explained: “Although there are five main characters in the film, almost the main character is the setting of the film itself.”

The photography captures the beauty but also the threatening nature with its unique North sea coastline, described by Simon as “amazing and film friendly".

With a strong central performance by Alex Reid (who with co-star Shauna McDonald appeared in another tip-top British thriller, The Descent) and a neat plotline involving a mysterious industrial secret kept on a laptop (a classic movie McGuffin), Jetsam is a really good watch.

In a world where Three And Out and Forgetting Sarah Marshall luxuriate in screens across the land, Jetsam should be seen, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from Mr Welsford.

The thriller has just won the Best Low Budget Feature film prize at the London Independent Film Festival.

Jetsam will be screened at 8pm and afterwards Simon will be taking part in a question-and-answers session.

It will be introduced by Jo Nolan, ScreenSouth chief executive.

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