Metro Screen Breaks Program Screening

Last night the Art Student and I and both our sons went to Metro Screen’s 2012 Breaks Program Cast and Crew Screening.

The big theatre at the Chauvel Cinema was packed out with people who’d been involved in making 12 short films funded through the Breaks Program. For all but two of the directors, it was their first film up on the big screen – the buzz in the foyer before and after the show was better than a Vietnamese fish market, and the applause after each film was clearly heartfelt, most emphatically so in a different sector of the theatre each time.

I had a great time. Some of the films were rough around the edges, some were rough in the middle, some seemed to assume that the complicated sex lives of young people are more interesting than perhaps they actually are, but every one of them had a personal stamp.

Of the First Break films (you can see a complete list  here), Destiny in the Dirt, directed by Ella Bancroft (with sublime picture book creator Bronwyn Bancroft, possibly a close relative, as Executive Producer) won my heart with its delicate play on the familiar art vs sport theme, and a plot that played completely fair but worked a sweet sleight of hand. I enjoyed, if that’s the right word, the grunge of Bjorn Stewart’s I’m Gunna Make It, in which the main character will have to clean up his act if he is ever actually gunna. Kiss Me, Deadly, directed by Colin Kinchela, treads a fine line on the edge of cheesy in its story of blind dates, and ends with a most satisfactory cross-cultural kiss. Katie Wall’s Scene 16 is a gem in which an actor figures out how to play a scene in a soap at considerable personal cost.

The other two films were ‘Breakout’ films – for filmmakers in their early careers. The first was Gimme Shelter, a tight piece about an extraterrestrial invasion directed by Tobias Andersson and starring Geoff Morell (the link is to its pozible page – the filmmakers found necessary extra funds through crowd-sourcing). It’s not quite finished – there’s a scene near the end that I expect will involve a massive shattering of plate glass, which just wasn’t there, but wasn’t hard to imagine. I hope it gets selected for Festivals.

Then, of course, there was the film we had turned out to see, Ngurrumbang, the film formerly known as  Scar, directed by Alex Ryan and written by him with his blogging father. This was the first time I’d seen the final cut, the first time anyone had seen it on a big screen. All three actors (Amanda Woodhams, Cameron Stewart and Jesse Guivarra) are compelling, the cinematography (Adam Howden) is stunning, the music (Robert Clark) and sound design (Mia Stewart) are just beautiful. I think I’m right in saying that it got sustained applause from all over the cinema. If you’re one of the many people who donated through pozible.com (yes, we did it too), I think you’ll feel your money was well spent. Jiao Chen, the producer, is organising a screening for friends of the production, including everyone who gave money, some time in February, and it’s being submitted to Film Festivals all over the joint.

So it was a big night. Congratulations all round – to the funders, the filmmakers, their families and all.

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