Published: 14:00, 04 August 2015
| Updated: 14:32, 04 August 2015
A fundraiser has won an acting award for his debut screen role.
Ray Seager, who has only been learning the craft for four months, was named best actor at the Watergate Film Festival held in Maidstone last month.
The 61-year-old caught the bug when he used a £19 Groupon voucher for an acting course at the Film Actors Club, which runs the competition, in March.
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He liked it so much, he signed up as a full-time student and shortly after members were set the challenge of making their own short film.
Mr Seager, of Prince Charles Avenue, Minster, came up with the idea of the 10-minute long movie, The Cure, and also co-wrote the script with Julian Gamm and Jadey Duffield.
It took them three weeks to make.
Set in 1942 during the Second World War, the plot is about a naval scientist, played by Mr Seager, who is tasked with creating a vaccine that will make soldiers impervious to attacks until part way through he is redirected to create a toxin to wipe out the enemy.
The Cure, which also won best horror/thriller soundtrack and best supporting actress for Jadey Duffield, was up against 40 other short films including one featuring Miranda Hart from BBC’s Call the Midwife and other entries from Spain and Ireland.
Mr Seager previously cut his teeth working for a murder mystery company and was also part of an amateur dramatics group at the Oast Theatre in Tonbridge, however, he said screen acting is completely different to the stage.
The grandfather-of-two, who is also a steward at Minster Working Men’s Club, said: “If you imagine a stage actor has got to be full on so people in the audience can interact whereas with film acting the common phrase is less is more so it’s more to do with your facial expressions and the little things.”
The Minster Rotary Club member added: “It was my first ever film role so to win was fantastic. I was just glad to be nominated so I just couldn’t believe it when my name was read out.”
He now hopes to enter The Cure into other festivals, including Bafta, but if it is too late then he plans to try again with another short film the following year.