New film features fishkeeping

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A talking Blue-spotted stingray is the unlikely star of a new romantic comedy about a fishkeeper who meets a pretty young teacher at his local aquatic shop.

Stingray, which was written by Charlie Gee and directed by Neil Chordia, is the latest short film from British film company Priority Pictures and is based around the life of a struggling writer - and fishkeeper - called Kurt Flint, who is played by Mat Horne of Teachers and the Catherine Tate Show.

Kurt has just lost another book pitch and after vividly reliving the experience he visits his local aquatic shop - the Aquatic Design Centre in London - to treat himself to a new fish. While there he spots an attractive young school teacher called Lucy (played by Lucy Punch), but gets tongue tied and can't pluck up the courage to ask her out.

A resident Blue-spotted stingray (featuring the voice of Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings) tells him he's being ridiculous and eventually persuades him to ask her out on a date. He scores.

Director Neil Chordia told Practical Fishkeeping: "Kurt thinks he's a great writer but after an uncomfortable pitch meeting with his would-be publishers he finds something that lightens his mood in the shape of pretty young teacher Lucy.

"I wanted Stingray to have a classic Hollywood feel, no crazy camera movements or jerky editing. With a script of great charm I wanted a naturally colourful space for the characters to shine through.

Stingray is an English film, but it's roots lie in the traditional Hollywood romantic comedy genre, falling somewhere between more edgy fare such as Swingers and High Fidelity."

Priority Pictures told Practical Fishkeeping that the film is due to air at festivals this summer and will be available for download on Love Film (www.lovefilm.com) after the June 27, 2006.