19 March, 2014 by Press Release

The makers behind independent thriller Crushed will host an open-air-style premiere screening on the vineyard the feature was filmed.

The self-financed film, shot over the hot Australian summer, in the wine region of Mudgee, New South Wales, is the feature directorial debut of Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) graduate Megan Riakos.


A 26-day crowd-funding campaign was launched on 6 March 2014 utilising the recently launched Australian Kickstarter platform. The filmmakers decided to work closely with the New York – based Kickstarter team, to launch their campaign, which they hope will attract an audience and completion funds.

“We believe that this film has strong international appeal, and using a crowd funding platform that has global reach such as Kickstarter, is a strategic step in building audiences both here and abroad” said Riakos.

The campaign is attracting US media attention with a feature on US film blog ScreenCrave as the “Indie Crowdfunding Project of the Week”, and the popular Us vs Film podcast.

The filmmakers have set a goal of $35,000 and are offering a variety of rewards including tickets to the premiere vineyard screening in Mudgee; a Kickstarter Q&A screening in Sydney; specialty “Mudgeewood” merchandise; wine tours; and, opportunities to meet with the cast and crew.

“We’ve been humbled by the generosity of the wider community who have already helped Crushed reach the $10,000 mark. Now we’ve got till April 1st to raise the remaining amount” said Riakos.

Finishing funds will help finance key aspects of post-production including editing, colour-grading, music & sound design. It will also assist in submitting the film to recognized film festivals as well as to market and distribute the film to audiences in Australia and internationally.

Crushed follows the story of Ellia, a young woman estranged from her family who is forced to return home after her father dies in a winery accident. When his death is ruled a murder and her mother becomes the prime suspect she must stay to uncover the truth.

The filmmakers are drawing on the strong female elements in the film, including that it passes the Bechdel Test, as motivation to back the project.

“Not only is Crushed written and directed by a woman, but three of the main characters are female. When people back this project, they are backing a film that has provided a great opportunity for women in film both on and off camera” noted Riakos.

The micro-budget thriller stars Sarah Bishop, Les Hill, Roxane Wilson, Helmut Bakaitis, Aaron Glenane, Robert Preston, Jamie Irvine and newcomers Remy Brand and Millie-Spencer Brown.

For further information visit:

Twitter: @crushedfilm