Director Ben Pickering will be screening his latest film Welcome to Curiosity, shot mostly in and around Truro, at Plaza Cinema on Wednesday (June 6).

To say that the film's production faced difficulties would be an understatement.

Ben started the film with an impending prison sentence hanging over him. He was being investigated for mortgage fraud and knew that his time as a free man would soon be up.

He said: "The clock was ticking. I mean, the clock was really ticking.

"I knew I was going to prison. I didn't want the only film that people knew me for to be The Smoke. So I, in 2013, revisited Welcome to Curiosity."

In December 2014, Ben was sentenced to six years in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud for which newspapers at the time called him the 'ringleader'.

But his determination to finish the film kept him going throughout his sentence.

He said: "I always had at the back of my mind while I was there, that I had Welcome to Curiosity kind of sat there, desperate to come out. People wanted to see it and see what they'd been involved in, see what it was all about. So one of my drivers when I was away was to make sure that it did come out. I worked hard with the production team, worked hard with the investors, worked hard behind the scenes to try everything I could to make it happen."

Following four interwoven storylines, the film is set in the fictional town of Curiosity, and was shot mostly around Truro and the surrounding areas.

Some locations that you might recognise in the film include the King Harry Ferry, Truro Cathedral, Goonhilly, the Old Bakery Studios and Mimi's diner in St Austell.

Although the film was shot in Cornwall, the titular town is more fiction than reality.

Ben said: "The Cornwall of Welcome to Curiosity is quite a dangerous place. If you were unlucky enough to live in Curiosity your life expectancy wouldn't be as long as it is in Falmouth, I hope."

Money for the film was crowd-funded, and all the cast and crew were on the same payscale. Ben said: "Everybody was there because they wanted to be there rather than because they wanted a paycheck."

Ben was released from prison in December 2017 having served half of his six year sentence. Now just six months later and against all odds, Welcome to Curiosity will be screened at Truro's Plaza Cinema on Wednesday June 6 after a UK premiere in London on June 4.

He said: "When I went in, I think there were a lot of people who thought this film wouldn't see the light of day. I even saw a cut of the film with somebody else's name as the director because we just didn't know if it was going to be viable for me to be part of it. And then things settled down. After a few weeks, certainly a few months, people were like: 'Ok. He's been a real moron. But we know him, we know he didn't do this for greed, he did this for stupid pride. We also know he's not that guy anymore, and hasn't been for a very long time.'"

Ben Pickering gives the impression that he is, in some ways, still coming to terms with life outside of prison. But he also seems like a man who has grown a lot in the last few years, and by anyone's standards has achieved an impressive feat against tough odds.

He said: "If I was to say anything about jail and what it taught me it would be: just be honest with people, just be straight with people, people might not like what you've got to say but they will at least respect you for not beating around the bush.

"Life is much simpler when you're straight with people."

For tickets to the premiere of Welcome to Curiosity, visit: