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Labey serves up lead role in mental health film

Labey serves up lead role in mental health film

Saturday 23 October 2021

Labey serves up lead role in mental health film

Jersey actor Jonny Labey will be starring as an aspiring chef with an abusive celebrity father in a film being released next year aiming to explore mental health stigma.

‘Dare to Dream’ is the latest project of Guernsey filmmaker and director Alex Bates.

Express caught up with him about the progress of the project…

Following the success of his short film Occupied, Mr Bates is keen to kickstart the filming of his next project, Dare to Dream, by the second week of November.

The film's main character, Theo, is a quiet, sensitive individual, who is also an aspiring chef. The film is about his relationship with his father, Ryan, who is an abusive celebrity chef with a charismatic façade which falls apart, showing his true colours behind closed doors.

Theo will be played by Jersey-born Jonny Labey, who has previously starred in Eastenders and the West End production of Strictly Ballroom.

Along with Guernsey Arts, the film is sponsored by Guernsey Mind. The collaboration was described by Mr Bates as "a great partnership" to raise awareness about mental health stigma.


Pictured: The cast, which includes Jonny Labey (top left) as lead.

A key theme throughout the film is mental health, and Guernsey Mind is providing White Rock Productions with support and advice on how to treat topics sensitively and appropriately.

White Rock Productions is moving forward on this project with mostly the same crew who were involved in Occupied, which will see Matthew Stockreiter as their cinematographer, Dana Jungerius as the production designer, and Rosie Le Friec and Penny Dawes as producers.

One of the main locations of the film will be the kitchen at the College of Further Education, which Mr Bates describes as "a great, spacious filming location." Mr Bates added that other locations include Elizabeth College and the dining area of the Slaughter House.

With filming set to take place for around three weeks, Mr Bates is hoping to premier the film in May next year. The film will be longer than Occupied, and is set to be around 30 minutes.

In addition to Guernsey Arts and Guernsey Mind, White Rock Productions are looking for another company or individual to sponsor the project. 

Mr Bates explained that an additional sponsor will “help to push the professionality of the project as much as possible, and make sure the outcome of the film looks as good as possible.”

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