Jersey actor Jonny Labey cast in new film thriller

EASTENDERS actor Jonny Labey is set to star in the latest project from local filmmaker Alex Bates.

Dare to Dream is a psychological thriller about Theo, an aspiring young chef who suffers from psychosis and a cocaine addiction, exploring his relationship with his abusive celebrity chef father.

Filming for the project had been slightly delayed, but now the project is ready to go, with filming starting in mid-November and set to take place in several Guernsey locations over several weekends.

Mr Bates, who wrote the film and will direct it, said he was excited to have the Jersey actor taking on the lead role.

Jonny Labey is known for playing Paul Coker on the BBC soap.

‘We were researching Channel Islands actors and we stumbled across him,’ Mr Bate said.

‘We thought he would be great because of his professionalism and experience. So we approached his agent. He took a look at the script and was very excited by it. He wanted to do it because it is quite a complex character.’

There is a team of seven local actors making up the main cast, and a large cast of extras.

The cast has been finalised and Mr Bates said he was resisting the temptation to make further changes, as the actors learn their lines. He started the project 18 months ago, before filming his World War II drama Occupied.

Most locations for the latest film have now been confirmed. The College of FE will be one of the kitchens, but another kitchen venue is needed. Mr Bates said ideally it should be available at weekends for shooting.

The film will also be shot at the hospital and at the clay pigeon shooting range at Portinfer.

It is being sponsored by Guernsey Arts and mental health charity Guernsey Mind.

Mr Bates said having Guernsey Mind on board had been really important, as the charity had also been giving advice on how to portray mental illness realistically.

Theo suffers from psychotic episodes and Mr Bates said too often films played into stereotyping the illness rather than sending the correct message about the illness.

‘That was really important to me,’ he said.

‘From day one, we wanted to support the message that it’s okay to talk about things.’

The film is being promoted by the Burnt Chef Project – a non-profit social enterprise committed to making the hospitality profession healthier.

It is hoped the film will premier in Guernsey next May.

Mr Bates said he was still looking for help with extras and a kitchen location.

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