RAIN DANCE

 

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At the end of 2017 I visited the Western state for the first time, brought on by writer/actress Bec Bignell to direct Rain Dance.

We travelled with a small crew to her home town Kojonup, a few hours out of Perth,  and spent time with the shearing team, meeting with members of the community and being fed copious amounts of good ol country cooking.

Currently being produced by Cockatoo Co Lab – Rain Dance is  a series about two women in a remote Australian shearing team who fight for their community in the wake of environmental adversity.

RAIN DANCE……

Rain Dance is  It is designed for multi platforms

LITTLE MONSTERS

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2018 ended amidst a horde of 5 year olds, zombies and farm animals. With torrential rain followed by a heatwave on Abe Forsythe’s Little Monsters   – I couldn’t have had more fun.

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Lupita Nyong’o in Little Monsters

Don Groves – IF Mag….

Writer-director Abe Forsythe proved his skill at flicking the switch from black comedy to violence in Down Under, and now he’s embarking on a film which will mash even more genres.

Due to start production in Sydney at the end of October after receiving production funding from Screen Australia, Little Monsters will blend comedy, romance and zombies.

The saga follows Dave, who goes to live with his sister, a single mother, after breaking up with his fiancée. While Dave is looking after his sister’s five-year-old he meets kindergarten teacher Caroline.

Dave is soon smitten, a relationship which is tested when he volunteers to escort the kids on an excursion, where they are attacked by zombies.

Thereafter Dave and Caroline try to convince the kids they are part of an elaborate ride rather than being at the centre of a zombie Apocalypse.

The producers are Jodi Matterson, the US-based Keith Calder and Jessica Calder (whose credits include Anomalisa and The Blair Witch remake) and Steve Hutensky. Bruna Papandrea (The Nightingale, Big Little Lies) is the executive producer.

The Calders were keen to be involved after watching Down Under, Matterson told IF. Forsythe got the idea for Little Monsters after volunteering to take his six-year-old son Spike and classmates on an excursion.

Matterson said the film will tell a “very upbeat, optimistic story,” in contrast to the mostly dark tone of Down Under, set in the aftermath of the Cronulla riots.

Universal Pictures will distribute in Australia and Protagonist Pictures will handle international sales. Jason Behan, vice president, acquisitions for Universal Pictures Australia, did the deal for the studio.

SOON TO BE RELEASED FILM CLIP BRIGHTER by MONIKER

A film clip produced, directed & edited by Nadia Townsend and Ruby Challenger.

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Synchronised swim team – The Emeralds.

Ruby Challenger and I met when she worked as the costume designer on my first short film BRAWL and I recently worked as dramaturg on her directorial debut DAILY BREAD.  BRIGHTER by MONIKER is our first project together as co-directors.  MONIKER is an emerging electro outfit.

DOP Vanna Seang.

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Images by Kwa Nugyen

KASEY’S MISSING

COMING TO TOWN

For the last couple of years I’ve been working on a project called Kasey is Missing, an initiative of Information and Cultural Exchange (I.C.E) and Nepean Community Neighbourhood services – a project that has been an ongoing and long time engagement with the community has became a beautiful web series about a young girl who’s friend goes missing and no one seems to notice or care.  

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The series was created by bringing together a group of film makers and developing scripts with the community through workshops and improvisation.  As we explore the possibility of a second series we made a trip to Wellington NSW – the second oldest settlement west of the Blue Mountains, Wiradjuri country. The home of Aunty Mary, who plays Aunty Mary in the series – a warm, strong and caring character, a rock for the community and the only person who seems to hear the concerns about Kasey’s absence.  Following Aunty Mary’s lead we explored her home country and ran 3 days of workshops in association with Wellington Information and Neighbourhood services.  

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Meeting the youngsters of the region and working with Aunty Mary and Information and Cultural Exchange crew was a highlight of my year.  Wellington is an enchanting place with a heavy history – We are currently seeking funding for the continued development of the series throughout 2017.

 

 

 

 

Wrap on Brock

Filming on Endemol Shine’s production for Network Ten – Brock has wrapped.  A bio pic about racing car champion Peter Brock – king of the mountain.  I was brought on to the project as Dramaturg, working with the marvellous director Geoff Bennet (Power Games, Love Child) and a tremendous cast of favourites Matthew Le Nevez as Brock, Ella Scott Lynch as Bev Brock, Natalie Bassingthwaite as Julie Bamford and Kirsty Lee Allen as Michelled Downs, Brocks 2nd wife.

We spent a couple of weeks in the rehearsal room sweating it out, the shoot was as fun as it was difficult – the cars were antique originals and although beautifully restored often had their own agenda, choosing when to move and how.

I also had the joy of donning a wig and playing Pauline Moffat, the wife of Brocks arch rival Allan Moffat played by Brendan Cowell.

Out west with the steam rising off the ashfelt and the gut rumbling rev of a V8 engine, it was hard to deny how much I heart muscle cars.

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The Team Is Back Together

In 2013 I teamed up with my old pal director Eddy Bell working as Dramaturg on his short film Grey Bull.  I travelled out to rural Victoria and spent two weeks freezing my ass off, eating way too many vanilla slices and making a film with the enthusiastic community of Nathalia, a South Sudanese family who were at the centre of the story, a great crew of seasoned professionals and a few moody bulls (like real bulls with horns).  The film went on to win ADG Best Short, FLICKERFEST Best Short, MIFF Best Short, St Kilda and Sydney Film Festival to name a few.

The Director/Dramaturg team are back together and we’re about to head into our next adventure which may have a cow in it just for old times sake – I’M RAYMOND begins filming this week.  With Leon Ford, Alison Bell, Geraldine Hakewill and introducing young Frederick Holahan-Cantwell.

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Director Eddy Bell

 

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Kasey Is Missing

Kasey Is Missing a community engagement project I worked on in association with ICE (Information & Cultural Exchange) a happening organisation that funds, supports and connects various emerging and professional artists from a spectrum of disciplines.  Situated in the heart of Parramatta.

This 5 part web series is the result of several years of collaboration with Nepean Community and Neighbourhood Services (NCNS). From story development to performance workshops to several weeks of shooting and hours of editing, this process allowed us to collect local stories over several years and developed them with the community into a narrative.

While it is fiction, the story and performances align themselves closely to the truth. The performer’s are not acting, they are being. Very little dialogue was written and this keeps the verbal exchanges honest and more authentic. The result is a beautiful observational piece exploring the joys and pains of being young.

And heres a review from Margaret Pomeranz movie review show Screen….