Michael Caton and John Jarratt are attached to star in X Was Here, the feature writing and directing debut of Clara Chong.
Due to start shooting in Sydney and regional NSW in August/September, the drama revolves around multiple generations.
The protagonist is Rory, who is 42 and a talented photographer but not where he wants to be, lacking a home, a girlfriend and a successful career.
He meets 29-year-old Ryan, the eldest of three siblings who had led a selfish life until she discovers a talent for cooking. Ryan recognises Rory’s talent and hard work and encourages him to let go, allowing unexpected things to happen.
Jarratt will play Rory’s father, a baby boomer, with Caton as the grandfather, a pre-boomer. The two leads haven’t been cast yet.
It’s the debut feature from The Film Bakery, produced by cinematographer/producer Ben Allan. Chong, a commercials and documentary director, started writing the screenplay five years ago.
She is being mentored by experienced producers Posie Graeme-Evans, who will serve as EP, and Matt Carroll.
Allan tells IF, “Clara sent each draft to Posie and Matt, who gave independent feedback. There was an extraordinary amount of overlap in the feedback, while Matt is strong on story structure and Posie focuses on character and emotion.”
Allan says he is working on innovative financing and distribution models and is in talks with various financiers.
Caton and Jarratt responded immediately to the screenplay. “We’re thrilled that the script is attracting talent of this calibre and are continuing to work with Leigh Pickford at Maura Fay Casting to round out the rest of the key cast with a mix of fresh faces alongside Caton and Jarratt,” Allan says.
Chong says, “This is an issues film that we hope will spark passionate dialogue about the generations like Thelma & Louise did for feminism but with a poetic narrative more similar in style to American Beauty.”