Actor Ben is film society's new patron
A Wigan actor known for roles on screen and stage has become the new patron of an award-winning local cinema organisation.
Ben Batt, who shot to fame in comedy drama Shameless, has taken on the role supporting the Leigh Short Film Festival and Leigh Film Society.
Former Shevington High School and Winstanley College student Ben expressed his delight at becoming the group’s patron and spoke of his passion for getting young people from ordinary backgrounds more involved in culture and the arts.
He also praised the film society, which recently won three prizes at the national Cinema For All awards, and festival which brings zero-budget film-makers from across the country to The Turnpike each year.
Ben, 31, said: “It’s lovely to be a patron and I’m really happy I get the opportunity to be part of the film society and festival. As a proud Wiganer it’s very important to give opportunities to people from small and stereotypically working-class towns to get involved, whether directing, writing or being part of films.
“Leigh is doing really well, has won national awards and is growing. I’m very pleased to be able to help in whatever way I can.
“When I was auditioning for drama school you didn’t really realise what you were thinking ahead to, and then as you get older you realise it is presented as something quite untouchable. Those young people with a passionate desire to be part of it need as many experiences and opportunities as we can give them. Just things like having the chance to see less mainstream films is vitally important.”
Ben recently appeared in W1A and has just finished filming a new series also starring Michelle Keegan. He returns to the theatre in the New Year to be in The York Realist at the Donmar Warehouse, London, having played The Old Vic this year.