The Richmond gangster film that won gold at this year’s LA Neo Noir festival had its first screening at the Richmond Odeon last night.

Tickets for Kaufman’s Game sold out rapidly amid its success of also being invited to this year’s London Comic Con and receiving a flood of other awards.

The film is director Helier Bissell-Thomas’ feature-length debut and was made on "no budget" through “begging, stealing and borrowing”.

It also stars Richmond actors Rupert Shelbourne and Toby Osmond as well-heeled mobsters, who were both so impressed with the script that they agreed to work for shares rather than a salary.

Toby Osmond said: “Kaufman's Game excited me as it's a different type of gangster film. It's not one of the common Essex geezer type crime films, it's more like Goodfellas in Richmond!

“We also did some filming in my mother's house in Teddington – and someone trod mud all over the carpet - funny in hindsight – not at the time, sorry mum.

“It's high end and once we got on set I knew it was going to be a fantastic debut. Getting ready to watch it at Richmond Odeon – the cinema of my youth, is simply fantastic.”

He added: “I met Helier at the Raindance festival Gala party a few years back – I think we spoke to each other first because we had similar hair at the time!

“As we got on and are both Richmond residents, we started meeting up in the Watermans Arms and Old Ship and talking endlessly about film.”

Toby also introduced Helier to actor and model Rupert Shelbourne, who lives on a “beautiful barge” occasionally moored in Richmond’s curve of the Thames.

Rupert said: “I'm happy for Helier to be the one in the limelight, with the potential to become like Tarantino or Guy Ritchie....and then to star in his next film.

“I think that the maturity and knowledge of my 54 years is a resource that Helier values to add to his incredible in-depth knowledge of film history and culture, so I love being part of his team.”

The titular character Kaufman was played by Tor Andreas Fagerland, the role written specifically with him in mind following a successful partnership with Helier on his short films.

Tragically, Tor passed away before the premiere. He loved visiting Richmond in summer, often staying at the Bingham Hotel.

Toby said: "Tor was an absolute delight to work with – he always had a funny story to tell or a joke to crack. He also never really learnt his lines that well – to the extent the runner wrote up 'cheat sheets' for him sometimes, or 'Brandos' as we called them. On the final day of shooting I got him a Marlon Brandon biography as a joke and he loved it."

Helier added: "He is a great actor friend that we are all missing tremendously. We are sure he is with us in spirit now."

At the time of writing there are four tickets left for Richmond on November 22 (the previous night having also sold out) and you can book tickets here.