Mark Griffin, Director, Writer and Producer or Lawrence After Arabia, will be joining us to introduce the film and hold a Q&A at the Mowlem Theatre in Swanage on Saturday, 23 October.

Everything was in place for a red carpet premiere of a film shot in Dorset about one of the county’s best known figures.

But coronavirus struck and Lawrence After Arabia, a low budget film passion project of director Mark Griffin, had its moment in the spotlight put back – and then put back again.

Lawrence After Arabia focuses on the events that led up to Lawrence of Arabia’s death following a motorcycle accident near Bovington Camp on May 13, 1935.

Making the film, which has big star name Brian Cox of TV’s Succession fame as its narrator, has been a long-term ambition of first-time film director Mark.

Raised in the West Midlands, Mark dreamt of going to drama school but because of the expense, instead graduated with a degree in computer science.

It was while spending numerous summer holidays in Dorset staying with his grandparents that a young Mark’s fascination with TE Lawrence emerged. When Mark visited St Martin’s Church in Wareham and saw war artist Eric Kennington’s life-sized effigy of his storied friend Lawrence, he knew it was a story he wanted to tell.

Just getting the film made and released in the first place has been an uphill struggle, Mark said. “It is very, very difficult to get any independent film to go into cinemas. Studios won’t take a risk on these kind of films and they’re obsessed with doing sequels.”

But Dorset filmgoers’ desire to see a biopic on Lawrence of Arabia was strong, Mark said, with more than half of the pre-release screenings of the film sold out for its planned showing in May.

(Dorset Echo 2021)