By Simon de Bruyn
A number of Australian films premiering at the Adelaide Film Festival have had marketing-focused facelifts in recent weeks in order to make them more appealing to audiences.
Three films, Kriv Stenders’ frontier western Home, the Natalie Imbruglia starrer Elise, and convict film Hell’s Gates have had title changes.
In addition, Glendyn Ivin’s anticipated feature debut Last Ride has premiered its first round of key art, which reveals a dramatic change from the moodier images which have been on the film’s initial ‘placeholder’ website and in the first online teaser trailer for the past few months.
Home has been renamed Lucky Country, while Elise has reverted to the title of the novel upon which it was based, Closed For Winter.
Jonathan Auf De Heide’s debut feature Hell’s Gates has been retitled Van Diemen’s Land.
Lucky Country producer Kristian Molliere told INSIDEFILM there was a few reasons for their decision, in addition to the fact that another film called Home will screen at Adelaide.
“If you search for Home on IMDb, about 45 results come up, plus there’s another film called Home coming in 2009, as well as the one currently playing at festivals.
"Also when we were talking to sales agents and people in places like America, the name didn’t mean anything to them, and it wasn’t leaving an impression,” he explained.
“The name also hasn’t had a lot of traction in the press, as the higher profile films shooting in the state such as Scott Hicks’ and Rachel Ward’s new films have been getting a lot of the coverage.”
He said the new title, Lucky Country, was proposed by the film’s writer Andy Cox.
Meanwhile, Last Ride has premiered its key art (see above image and the revamped website). In contrast to the earlier image on the film’s old website, it depicts Last Ride as a brighter, more uplifting film.
Although Madman has told INSIDEFILM the initial image (see below image) was never intended as key art or indicative of the marketing direction, it has still been up online for many months with the teaser trailer, and shows what other options the distributor had when designing its artwork.
As it stands, the only hints to the darker themes of the film can be glimpsed towards the end of the recently launched second teaser trailer, which can also be found on the film’s website.