Director looks for new Cure to distribution problem

22 January, 2014 by Don Groves

Like any filmmaker, New Zealand-based Australian David Gould wants his action-thriller The Cure to reach a wide audience- but he’s concluded that releasing the film in cinemas in either country is not cost-effective.

The film will premiere on February 6 at The Embassy Cinema in Wellington and will then be available on DVD, VOD platforms Vimeo and IndieReign and pay-TV’s Rialto Channel.


“We are self-distributing in New Zealand as I think that theatrical releases don’t really work for indie films,” says Gould, who worked for WETA Digital on the visual effects of numerous films including two editions of The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Adventures of Tintin.

“We aren’t doing a theatrical release because we don’t feel that the expense really brings the corresponding returns. The general public want to see the film in a way that is convenient for them, whether it’s their iPhone, iPad, etc. So we’re releasing the film on three platforms to give the consumer as much choice as possible.”

Gould says he will likely take a similar approach in Australia, kicking off with a theatrical premiere, possibly in April. “I think that building awareness through social media and our existing fan base will give the film the greatest exposure,” he says. “Putting the film in cinemas for a limited time really doesn’t give the film the opportunity to build via word or mouth. Word of mouth is key in this day and age for independent films.”

Set in San Diego but shot in Wellington, The Cure features Antonia Prebble (Outrageous Fortune, The Tribe) as Beth, a young biochemist who discovers the pharmaceutical company she works for had developed a cure for cancer years earlier. The company suppressed the drug for fear of hurting its lucrative chemotherapy drug sales. When Beth attempts to release the cure to the world, her life is endangered.

Australian actor Daniel Lissing (Packed to the Rafters, Crownies) plays her partner Ryan. Kiwis Stephen Lovatt (Spartacus, This is not a Love Story), John Bach (This is Not my Life, Spartacus) and John Landreth (Rage) complete the key cast.

Gould wrote, directed and produced the film, with Alex Clark (Contract Killers, Aftershock) as line producer. David Paul was the DOP and Gim Bon debuted as the production designer having worked as set dresser on Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. Frank Reuter (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Spartacus) was the visual effects supervisor.

It’s Gould’s feature debut after making the short films Awaken, The Seed and Inseparable Coil in Australia. International sales rep CineTel has sold the film to Germany, Russia, Spain, Japan, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria and there are verbal deals with distributors in China and the Philippines.

His next film is Brotherhood, a contemporary action/adventure film that follows a knight and young woman who fight to reveal a biblical prophecy that the Church wants to keep hidden.

He plans to follow that with No Pardon, a modern supernatural thriller about a young man who is falsely convicted of murder and incarcerated in an Australian maximum security prison. The joint is haunted by the ghosts of colonial guards, who attack the inmates.

“It will be a unique take on our country’s colonial and Aboriginal history,” he says. “We are considering Western Australia or South Australia to make the film as they have the most readily accessible prisons that would suit our purposes.”