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Where you can see Kent in independent dramas, as Dover-set After Love with Joanna Scanlan lands in cinemas


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Our county has had its fair share of features on the silver screen, including Hollywood blockbuster like The Avengers and Harry Potter.

Kent's also been the backdrop of acclaimed television series, such as Netflix hit Back to Life which was filmed in Folkestone.

Joanna Scanlan stars in the Dover-set After Love
Joanna Scanlan stars in the Dover-set After Love

But another group of film makers have also been using the Garden of England for years to shoot independent, small-budget dramas, committed to depicting real life and often hard-hitting stories

On the day a new Dover-set tearjerker is released in cinemas, we take a look at all the places in Kent directors have used to bring their visions to life.

After Love

Released today, Aleem Khan's critically acclaimed drama follows actress Joanna Scanlan who plays a woman who converted to Islam when she married, now living quietly in Dover with her husband Ahmed.

Following her husband's death, she discovers Ahmed had a secret life across the Channel in Calais, with the film revealing Mary's struggles to grapple with this shocking revelation.

Watch: Spot the Dover locations in the After Love trailer

Speaking to KentOnline in October, the Medway-born director said: "My grandparents lived in Folkestone for years, so I knew the landscape well and there is something about the proximity of these two places (England and France) like two worlds which are very close but very separate but bound by this stretch of water.

"It felt like a very natural place to set the story."

The film includes scenes shot on the iconic White Cliffs looking out towards Calais, as Joanna Scanlan's character contemplates her husband's secret second life.

The Port of Dover was also used as the widow travels to Calais to try and unravel this strange mystery.

Director Aleem Khan directing a scene shot in The Leas, Kingsdown
Director Aleem Khan directing a scene shot in The Leas, Kingsdown

But the most prominent location Khan used in Kent was the main character's house, filmed in The Leas, Kingsdown.

After Love is in cinemas from today, including Cineworld in Dover's St James Retail and Leisure Park.

Jellyfish

Filmed entirely in Margate, Jellyfish follows the story of 15-year-old carer Sarah who's bullied at school, taken advantage of by her overbearing boss and shouldering the responsibility of looking after her unstable mum and two younger siblings.

But her life changes when she discovers her talent for stand up comedy after being encouraged to perform by her drama teacher.

Watch: The trailer for Jellyfish

Released in 2019, James Gardner's film puts the seaside town front and centre, becoming a character all of its own during the course of the story.

The film prominently features the Flamingo Amusement Arcades, where Sarah works to make money for her family.

The seafront is also a familiar sight, with Margate beach and Arlington House appearing throughout the film.

And Cedar Close was used as the street where Sarah lives with her family.

Jellyfish was shot entirely in Margate
Jellyfish was shot entirely in Margate

Liv Hill, who plays the role of Sarah, gained critical acclaim for her performance, including the Edinburgh Film Festival Award for Best Actor in a British Film and Screen Star of Tomorrow 2018.

Wasp

Now considered something of a cult classic, Andrea Arnold chose her home town of Dartford as the backdrop for her 2003 Oscar-winning short.

The film was entirely shot in the north Kent town, and stars Natalie Press and Danny Dyer in the main roles.

The story follows Zoe, a single mother-of-four who is struggling to afford to look after her family.

Wasp, courtesy of Cowboy Films via IMDB
Wasp, courtesy of Cowboy Films via IMDB

Running into her ex-boyfriend one afternoon (played by Danny Dyer) Zoe lies and says she's just babysitting the kids, worried he won't want to go out with her again if he knew the truth.

Temple Hill estate was used as the location of Zoe's home, in a flat that looks out across the Dartford Crossing.

Jolly Farmers, a now-closed pub on Thames Road, was used prominently in the second half of the film, when Zoe leaves her kids to go on a date with her ex.

The film has been described as a heartbreaking look at poverty in the UK, and the lack of support afforded to an entire generation of young mothers.

Ginger and Rosa

Ginger and Rosa, starring Elle Fanning and Alice Englert
Ginger and Rosa, starring Elle Fanning and Alice Englert

Though not entirely shot in Kent, Sally Potter's 2012 film used a number of the county's locations to bring her 1960s set story to life.

Starring Elle Fanning, Annette Benning and Christina Hendricks, the film follows the story of two best friends who's friendship is destroyed when one seduces the dad of the other.

Potter took the crew to the Dungeness Estate, used for various beach scenes where Ginger and Rosa walk along the beach and sit on the boardwalk.

They travelled to the Isle of Sheppey and filmed the boating and open water scenes, including the Swale estuary and the Queenborough jetty.

And for another striking location the film used the sound mirrors on Dengemarsh, which look out over the large expanse of shingle desert.

The Fight was filmed in and around Folkestone. Pictured: Jessica Hynes and Shaun Parkes
The Fight was filmed in and around Folkestone. Pictured: Jessica Hynes and Shaun Parkes

The Fight

Directed by and starring Jessica Hynes, 2019 film The Fight follows care home nurse Tina who is finding life difficult - from a tough relationship with her elderly parents to her daughter being bullied at school, she steps into the boxing ring to channel her pent-up anger.

The film was shot in Folkestone, and features some of the most picturesque locations the seaside town has to offer.

From Folkestone Harbour Arm, to The Warren and Folkestone Coastal Park, the area is a major part of Hynes' powerful drama.

Folkestone Academy, on Park Farm Industrial Estate, also doubled up as Tina's daughter's school.

Watch: Check out Folkestone featured in the trailer for The Fight

Speaking about filming in her home town, Hynes said: "Folkestone Academy invited me to do a workshop there and all the school children in the film apart from Liv Hill and Sennia Nanua are from the academy.

"In every sense this is a local film, inspired by the town and to a great extent made possible by the generosity and enthusiasm of its people."

The film also stars Russell Brand, making an appearance as the character 'Guru'.

This is not the first time Jessica Hynes has shot a film in the area - in 2018 she starred in Seagull, a thriller about a young woman, who returns to her town having been missing for eight years.

The Carer was filmed all over Kent
The Carer was filmed all over Kent

The Carer

In what could be the most sentimental film of the entire list, this 2016 film starring Brian Cox and Austrian actress Coco König filmed in the county for six weeks to shoot their touching drama.

Sir Michael Gifford, played by Cox, alienates everyone around him as he suffers from an incurable illness.

But when his daughter sets him up with a companion who is a refugee, surprising changes begin to occur.

Director János Edelényi used a slew of the county's locations, including Boughton Monchelsea Place, Headcorn, Staplehurst and the Theatre Royal in Margate.

Sutton Valence Care home, based in the small village east of Maidstone, also served as the care home where Cox's character lives.

The 70-room residential home, in North Street, served as a main set, and some of its workers featured as extras.

Family members of residents also lent a hand, but the residents themselves did not appear on screen.

The film also included a surprise appearance from the late Sir Roger Moore.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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