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Anything Cannes can do, Southend can do better! Essex film festival launches with vintage beach glamour photoshoot

09 April 2015

Star-studded British Action Flick To Open Film Festival Age of Kill World Premiere in Southend

To celebrate the launch of the 2015 Southend-on-Sea Film Festival, leading glamour model and actress Dani Thompson plus three model friends (reigning Miss Essex Devon Mayson, Ria Fend & Elly Prizeman) proved that an Essex film festival is far better than a French one, by recreating a vintage bikini clad scene from the Cannes Film Festival in perfect sunshine on Southend Beach.

The 7th annual Southend Film Festival will show more than forty films old and new films from across the globe and a wide variety of genres screened over the 5 days (21-25 May). The Gala Opening (21 May) will be the World Premiere of Age of Kill, an edgy thriller featuring a host of British stars (Martin Kemp, Phil Davis, Nick Moran, Dexter Fletcher, Donna Air, Patrick Bergin).



The Long Good Friday, Get Carter, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - when it comes to gritty thrillers with a dash of wit and a cracking script, nobody does it better than we Brits. Set to continue this tradition is Age of Kill, a fast-paced, edgy thriller featuring a host of British stars which will raise the curtain on the 7th annual Southend-on-Sea Film Festival.

The celebrity packed Gala Opening Night will be on Thursday 21st May at the Odeon cinema, kick starting 5-days of films at the Park Inn Palace Hotel.

Martin Kemp (The Krays, Eastenders) takes the Age of Kill lead role as Sam Blake a sniper forced to murder six, seemingly random people in six hours to save his kidnapped daughter, played by Dani Dyer (Vendetta). He later realises the murders are part of a political coup and attempts to unmask the kidnappers. The cast also includes household names Phil Davis (Silk, Whitechapel, Vera Drake and currently starring in BBC1’s Poldark), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows), Dexter Fletcher (Bugsy Malone, Press Gang, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Donna Air (Byker Grove, The Mummy Returns) and Patrick Bergin (Patriot Games, Sleeping with the Enemy).

“Age of Kill is a fantastic action film in the great British tradition that is sure to be a future favourite and is packed full of much loved household names – we’re thrilled it’s going to get its very first public screening here in Southend-on-Sea” says Paul Cotgrove from The White Bus, the company behind the Festival.



There will be more than forty films old and new films from across the globe and a wide variety of genres screened over the 5 days; from the 1965 Christopher Lee classic The Face of Fu Manchu to recent box office hit Paddington, plus a programme of talks. Eight UK Independent feature films and twelve shorts are either World or UK premieres.

Appropriately, the final day (25th May) starts with a Laurel and Hardy film. The slapstick comedy duo stayed at the Park Inn – then known as the Palace - in 1952, whilst performing in the town.

The Closing Gala of the Southend-on-Sea Film Festival is another UK premiere – Still. Set in North London, Still is a gritty and atmospheric thriller about the violent disintegration of a man and father, starring Aiden Gillen – known to millions as Littlefinger in Game of Thrones. 

Paul added “We really are so lucky to have such a wide and rich diversity of films for the Festival this year – from an Icelandic / German / Norwegian collaboration about a love story between horses (‘Of Horses and Men’) and ‘Ida’ (2015 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language film) to ‘Sing-A-Long Frozen’, ‘Rude Boy (a rockumentary of The Clash) and Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple in ‘Murder Most Foul’. I am also looking forward to seeing Solitary, whose Executive Producer and Composer is Roger Taylor from Queen. There really is something for everyone?!”

The Festival this year also features a competition in collaboration with London Southend Airport and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for young, local filmmakers to produce an official promotional film. The winning entry will be debuted during the festival.

Tickets for the Southend Film Festival are on sale now – you can purchase them from the E-Shop on the Visit Southend website ( HYPERLINK "" or in person from the Visitor Information Centre at Southend Pier, SS1 1EE.

Go here for more information and full listings of the programme

The Southend-on-Sea Film Festival 2015 is supported by Echo Newspapers and Radio Essex.

The White Bus Ltd
Formed in October 2007 in Southend-on-Sea to provide film and video production, education and exhibition services. Its most high-profile events are the annual Film Festival, in its 7th year in 2015 and Horror-on-Sea, in its 3nd year in 2015; regular film shows at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff and Leigh-on-Sea Community Centre and Archive Evenings.

The White Bus is based at TAP, an arts centre in an old Victorian water works, which is home to nearly 3,000 reels of 16mm and 35mm film comprising over 270 British feature films and hundreds of short films, documentaries and animation, including the most complete collection of the works of iconic director Lindsay Anderson, whose drama documentary, The White Bus, inspired the company name.