World premiere set for Oz crime thriller

30 April, 2014 by Don Groves

Writer-director John V. Soto’s third feature The Reckoning will have its world premiere in competition at the British Independent Film Festival next month.

Screening at the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square on May 10, the crime thriller has been nominated for best film, director and actor.


The cast is headed by Jonathan LaPaglia (The Slap, Love Child), Luke Hemsworth (Kill Me Three Times, Brothers in Arms), Hanna Mangan Lawrence (X, Spartacus: Blood and Sand), Viva Bianca (X, Spartacus) and Alex Williams (Paper Planes, Never Tear Us Apart).

The plot follows a troubled detective (LaPaglia) as he hunts two runaway teenagers who hold video footage that identifies a cop killer.

The tentative Australian release date is September 4, playing on 8-10 screens in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The film has been sold in seven international territories by Lightning Entertainment, which aims to close further deals at the Cannes film market.

“Jonathan, Luke and Hanna give outstanding performances so, as a director, I’m very happy,” said Soto, who will attend the world premiere, then head to Cannes. “Our test screenings have gone well and despite some intense sequences, the film seems to work with both young and older audiences, which is promising.”

The film was produced by Filmscope Entertainment’s Deidre Kitcher,  with Robert Lundberg, Roger and Kim Savill and Malcolm and Kate Rudd as executive producers. Jason Thomas was DOP, Regg Skwarko was the editor and composer Thomas Rouch wrote the score.

The teaser trailer has been viewed more than 250,000 times on YouTube; the full theatrical trailer will be released on YouTube shortly.

The Reckoning is the third film produced by Filmscope Entertainment following Soto’s Crush (2009) and Needle (2011). “Once again we have demonstrated that Filmscope can make quality films for global audiences and it speaks volumes to the talent and resourcefulness of our team,” said Kitcher.

Soto and Kitcher are developing Never Ride Crazy, a $4 million Chinese-Australian co-production which is an adventure comedy set in the South West of WA, and The Accursed, an intense supernatural thriller which he is co-writing with US writer Todd Gordon. 

The logline: After discovering that a series of unusual deaths was caused by terrifying evil spirits, a detective becomes their next target. Soto will meet with sales agents in Cannes on that project.