Melbourne writer-director Matthew Holmes has launched an ambitious crowd-funding campaign to finance his half-hour biopic ‘The Legend of Ben Hall’, an authentic retelling of the NSW bushranger who was killed by police in a controversial shooting almost 150 years ago.

Holmes and his team are attempting to raise $75,000 on the crowd-funding platform KICKS TARTER and must reach their target by July 7. “With Kickstarter, it’s all or nothing. If we don’t reach our target, we don’t get financed. But we are confident our project will attract pledgers. This a great story that people love – and we have a great team behind it.”

The campaign was launched over the weekend, and over $5000 was raised in its first 24 hours of being live. If successful, the film will shoot around regional Victoria in August. It will be completed by early 2015, ready in time for the 150th anniversary of Ben Hall’s bwtal death, a scene that will be graphically depicted in the film’s powerful climax.

NSW historian and author Peter Bradley, a descendant of the Hall family, is onboard as Historical Consultant and Executive Producer. “Ben Hall’s violent death at the hands of the police provoked such resentment at the time that he became a folk hero whose legend still endures today.” Peter Bradley.

Sydney actor Jack Martin, who bears a striking resemblence to the real outlaw, has been cast in the title role. (see B&W photo attached) “There are so many people who love Ben Hall already. There are also people who are direct descendants of the man. So I really want to do him justice” Jack Martin.

The filmmakers are offering a variety of rewards to those who pledge money toward the film including online content, downloads, DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, books, onscreen credits and much more. For as little as $20, pledgers can own a copy of the film when complete.

“Most Australians don’t realise just how prolific Ben Hall was. The exploits of Ned Kelly pale in comparison to Hall’s. This is an amazing true story just begging for a cinematic adaption. I’m certain our film will thrill, shock and surprise many people. “ Matthew Holmes

The last time the legendary bushranger graced our screens was nearly 40 years ago, in the now lost 1975 ABC-BBC co-production ‘Ben Hall’.

“The TV series was very innaccurate, historically. What we are attempting here is to recreate history as closely as possible. We hope people rally behind us and support the film with a pledge so we can re-introduce this story to Australia and the rest of the world.” Matthew Holmes

Holmes plans to hold the World Premiere in the heart of Ben Hall country, Forbes NSW.