Two prominent business figures are backing a movie about the Beast of Bevendean.

Millionaire property developer Michael Holland and Michael Chowen, the founder and former owner of British Bookshops and Sussex Stationers, are convinced there is more to the sightings of big cats in Sussex than meets the eye.

Now they are putting their money where their mouths are and supporting Dark Roar, the brainchild of movie maker Ewan Gorman.

Mr Gorman, who teaches at Brighton Film School, said the film is an action/adventure story with two 11-year-old boys at its centre.

He said: “I’m delighted to have the backing of these well-known business people. I hope this will boost the profile of the project.

“In the film, two 11-year-old boys go off to find the beast. They want to find him, trap him and become heroes. But someone else is looking for him too and things don’t go to plan.”

Mr Holland said he was fascinated by the idea of making a film about the mysterious cats.

He said: “I think people will queue up to see this film. There is definitely something behind all these sightings.

“It’s been reported by many sensible people. I think the big cats are out there and I think they are breeding.”

Mr Chowen said; “I am happy to support this great project. We need to nurture the filming talent we have in the city. We have a lot of fantastic and talented people in Brighton and Hove. I really hope this film is a success.”

There have been many reports of sightings of big cats in and around the area.

Earlier this month mother-of-two Eileen Nutley said she spotted a lynx prowling along the road outside Ditchling village Experts say that big cat sightings are common around Ditchling Beacon although most witnesses have described seeing a panther-like creature rather than a lynx.

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