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Local director Ronnie Thompson brings film premiere to Colchester

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Local director Ronnie Thompson brings film premiere to Colchester

Sometimes there really is no place like home – and thankfully for Colchester, local film writer and director Ronnie Thompson appears to happily abide by that.

For the world premiere of his latest theatrical release, I Am Soldier, last Friday evening Ronnie saw the town’s firstsite art gallery roll out the red carpet for the very first time in the town’s history.

The exclusive showing, which was in association with Colchester Film Festival, took place before a packed audience of cast and crew – with even two of the movie’s biggest stars, Noel Clarke and George Russo, in attendance.

Filmed in and around Darlington, and made for just £500,000, the film follows the gruelling and near impossible selection process wannabe SAS hopefuls have to endure before becoming eligible for the elite regiment.

Featuring a soundtrack compiled by local band the Lowriders, I Am Soldier is Ronnie’s fourth film in as many years after writing/producing prison drama Screwed in 2011, directing/producing Tower Block, which starred Sheridan Smith, in 2012 and writing/producing Green Street 3: Never Back Down last year.

After the screening Ronnie, along with producers, Mark Lane and James Harris, and actors Noel Clarke and George Russo, took part in a question and answer session hosted by the Gazette’s Neil D’Arcy-Jones.

Ronnie jokingly said: “When I called Lionsgate (the film’s distributors) and said I wanted to do a film about the SAS they were reluctant to jump on board.

“But then I said Noel Clarke was doing it and they replied, ‘Great, where do we sign?’”

Although the array of sparkly dresses and big cars with blacked-out windows may well have added to the spectacle of Colchester’s first-ever movie premiere, it was the celebration of a true local talent that refuses to get caught up in it all that really made the evening such a special one. 

I Am Soldier is released on both DVD and Blu-ray on March 17.

Words: George Henry King


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