THERE’S a swag of Australian film directors on Hollywood’s A-list, but back home locally produced fare is often overlooked in favour of American imports.
That makes Cinema Australia and Revelation Film Festival’s monthly screenings of Aussie offerings such as his Downriver “hugely important”, writer/director Grant Scicluna says.
“[It’s] our first and possibly only big screening in Perth.”
The film’s distributors and owners have no plans to bring Downriver to WA, making the monthly showing an important outlet for home-grown talent.
Downriver is Scicluna’s first feature film, a tightly-scripted story of a young man recently released from prison.
Grim, bloody grim
He returns to the rural community of his childhood to discover the truth behind the murder of a child he supposedly committed as a youngster. But did he?
The film is about guilt and innocence: “And culpability of a child and how they are tarred for the rest of their life,” Scicluna says.
“It’s grim, bloody grim, as a father …holy moly it’s dark,” says Cinema Australia’s Matt Eeles.
The lead, played by Reef Ireland of Puberty Blues fame, is looking for answers amid a cast of characters with their own secrets, including his mother (played by Kerry Fox).
“The characters are grappling with the complexity of the situation,” Scicluna says.
The movie is set along the river where the murdered boy disappeared.
“Australian rivers can be menacing and joyous at the same time, which suited the story,” Scicluna says.
Sharing the bill is WA Screen Awards-nominated short film Outline, a six-minute “tear jerker” written and directed by North Perth film maker Cody Cameron-Brown.
Adriane Daff (Black Swan’s Blithe Spirit and A Perfect Specimen) is the lone actor and there’s no dialogue, with the film inspired by old Hollywood silent movies – with a modern twist.
Downriver was selected for the prestigious Toronto Film Festival and the Melbourne Film Festival.
The film, and a Q&A skype from the director, is on Monday August 29 at The Backlot Perth, 21 Simpson Street, West Perth.
Drinks and nibbles from 6.30pm, screening 7pm.
by JENNY D’ANGER