A DORCHESTER-BORN actor is returning to his hometown for a special screening of his latest movie – dubbed 'the film Putin does not want you to see'.

Former Thomas Hardye School pupil Tom Prior, who has previously appeared in films including Kingsman: The Secret Service as well as the Oscar-nominated The Theory of Everything, is bringing Firebird to Dorchester Plaza for a special event on Thursday, May 12.

Set in the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, Firebird tells the true story of a love affair between a conscript and a fighter pilot, who fight to remain together despite the dangers.

Homosexuality was banned in the Soviet military, and LGBT people still face discrimination in modern Russia.

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Mr Prior, 31, who also co-produced Firebird, spent seven years working on the film alongside director and co-writer Peeter Rebane.

He even travelled to Russia several times for research purposes, meeting Sergey Fetisov, whose story Firebird recounts.

Mr Prior said: "With the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, it feels that this film couldn’t be more political, but we were adamant we had to tell Sergey’s story in the way he wanted.

"It’s about love in its purest form between two people."

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Mr Fetisov only had one stipulation – to ensure the story was about love, not about politics – but sadly died before the film was made.

The film has now been shown at more than 55 festivals around the world, but after it was shown at the Moscow International Film Festival it has now been effectively banned in Russia.

Russian laws, which came into effect in 2013, forbid the promotion of homosexuality and have even been used to take children away from same-sex parents.

The film has received rave reviews and press coverage around the world, with the The Guardian describing it as ‘the film Putin doesn’t want you to see’.

Mr Prior said he always loved performing in school productions at St Osmund’s and Thomas Hardye, but it was during a play called Fire From Heaven – telling the story of puritans in 17th century Dorset – in the Dorchester Community Play where he first felt that acting was his true calling.

He directed his first play at Hardye’s as part of the National Theatre: Connections outreach programme, taking the production to The Nuffield in Southampton, and later directed a sell-out production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the school, as well as leading the Dorchester Youth Theatre.

When he was accepted for a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) Tom had to raise £16,000 in just over three months to pay the course fees, holding a 15km sponsored run, and organising an auction of promises – with a dinner with long term supporters Lord and Lady Fellowes as the first prize.

Mr Prior added: "It was the generosity of people from Dorchester that sent me off to RADA, enabling me to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional actor.

"Firebird has taken seven years of my life to make and means a lot to me – I’m so proud to be able to come back to my home town and introduce it."