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Kent-made film The Calling to open London Independent Film Festival

Brenda Blethyn in The Calling
Brenda Blethyn in The Calling

A film shot in Kent by a Kentish company will be opening the London Independent Film Festival in April.

The Calling is the latest release from Medb films - pronounced Maeve - which is based in Ramsgate and shoots its projects across Thanet and the surrounding area.

Previous Medb films Gypo and Ruby Blue starred Pauline McClynn and Bob Hoskins respectively and launched the Isle onto cinema screens across the country.

The Calling stars Ramsgate actress Brenda Blethyn OBE and will open the festival with its London premiere on April 15 - a charity screening in aid of Macmillan Nurses. It will then go on release in cinemas across the UK from April 23.

As well as Ms Blethyn, The Calling also features Golden-Globe winners Rita Tushingham and Amanda Donohoe and Academy Award-nominated Susannah York, and follows the story of a young woman who wants to become a nun. It came to national fame last year when it was nominated for the prestigious Michael Powell Award for the Best British New Feature at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The Calling writer and director Jan Dunn said:"It’s a real privilege to have The Calling as the opening film at the London Independent Film Festival and I think it’s a great testament to all the hard work of everybody involved. Kent has a huge amount to offer the film industry."

The Kent Film Office worked with Medb to bring the story to the screen as part of its work to promote Kent as a filming location. It has said the film put £500,000 into the county's economy as a result.

Kent County Council provided £75,000 of funding for the film and also worked to secure match funding. This initial investment attracted other investors to the project including Screen South, Courtyard Studios, Maidstone Studios and The Hop Farm. The investment also secured jobs for eight trainees from Kent on the production.

Brenda Blethyn, who as well as being an actress is chair of Kent Film and Television Board, said: "This shows what tremendous results a relatively small amount of funding can have. It has put Kent's creative talent on an international stage and as a Kent resident I’m especially proud to have been involved with it."

  • The charity premiere will take place at The Curzon cinema, Mayfair at 8.30pm and tickets are being sold through the FilmAid website: www.filmaid.co.uk
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