Exotic cast for new Jim Loach film

20 February, 2014 by Don Groves

Spanish stars Paz Vega, Carmen Maura and Antonio de la Torre together with Edward James Olmos and Love Child’s Jessica Marais head the cast of Jim Loach’s movie which starts shooting in South Australia on March 3.

Scripted by Judy Morris (Happy Feet 2, The Eye of the Storm), the plot revolves around a multi-generational, dysfunctional Spanish family and a 12-year-old boy, Savino, who realises he has to escape to effect change. Sydney newcomer Michael Crisafulli will play Savino with Jarin Towney (Two Little Boys, Underbelly) as his buddy Skeet.


It’s the first film from Timothy White (Son of a Gun, The Boys are Back) and Anna Vincent’s Southern Light Alliance, an unofficial co-production with Stewart le Maréchal and Anna Mohr-Pietsch of the UK’s Met Film.

Vincent tells IF that White was introduced to the project from an international contact, she then met the UK producers in Cannes last year and they decided to shoot in the Barossa Valley, the Flinders Ranges and the Adelaide Studios at Glenside.

The untitled film is the English director's second Australian film following Oranges and Sunshine. “As soon as I read Judy's script, I knew this was a film I wanted to make,” Loach said. “It's just a great story, and with a brilliant cinematic quality built in.

"It has a big, big heart and travels through a terrain that I've always wanted to explore – familial love and loss, and everything else in between. Developing it has been a joy and lots of fun, and I'm looking forward to shooting.”

Vincent paid tribute to the MEAA for agreeing to the casting, given the specific need to have actors who can convincingly play members of a Spanish-speaking family. She said 85% of the budget will be spent in Oz. The South Australian Film Corp. is an investor and Greenlight Releasing is the Australian distributor. An international sales agent is yet to be appointed.

Vega, who starred with Adam Sandler in Spanglish and plays Maria Callas opposite Nicole Kidman in Grace Of Monaco, is cast as Savino’s mother Adrianna.

Maura, whose credits include The Woman on the 6th Floor, Volver and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Olmos (Stand and Deliver, Battlestar Galactica) play the boy’s grandparents.

Antonio de la Torre (I’m So Excited!, Volver) is Savino’s father Felipe. Quim Gutierrez is Felipe’s brother Goyo and Marais is Janine, Goyo’s girlfriend.

SAFC chair Judy Potter said the film will employ more than 70 local crew and cast and she estimated the production spend in SA at more than $4.5 million.