Winner of best emerging screenwriter at Adelaide Shorts Festival

Director Nadia Townsend and her lead actor Ben Smith Petersen who plays Soups in Brawl

Director/Writer Nadia Townsend and lead actor Ben Smith Petersen who plays Soups in Brawl


Set in a suburban Australian pub, Brawl is a short film which puts you in the shoes of an angry, privileged young man “Soups” as he battles his vulnerability by dousing himself in alcohol and asserting his dominance.

As the night and the drink wears on the situation becomes dangerously recognisable.

Shot on location at the iconic Friend in Hand pub in Glebe, Sydney

How BRAWL came about…
by writer/director Nadia Townsend

Extreme violence on a casual night out has now become the norm in Australia. A cowards punch (formally known as a king hit) a weekly headline.

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Brawl was written for a group of highly skilled stunt performers I met and worked with in Namibia where we had all relocated for the filming of Mad Max 4 – Fury Road.

Working on the film as Assistant Dramaturg, my job was to run a program where by these men of idyllic Australia were essentially transformed into ‘child soldiers’ or ‘war boys’.  We were attempting to locate on a primal level the most powerful ignition for violence.

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Brawl is a continuation of that work.

We had the great privilege of political activist Eve Ensler joining us during our rehearsal time in Namibia. She spoke to the gentlemen about male violence and its perpetuation, the patriarchal system that continues to destroy the gentility of men and teach generation after generation that domination is the only form of survival and that vulnerability is weak and should be feared therefore shut down.

Eve’s words still resonate with me, the notion of vulnerability as a catalyst for destruction or a turning point for evolution.

Brawl Movie Soups

the art of fighting adjusted

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