The annual Byron Bay International Film Festival has awarded Central Coast filmmaker, Nathan Hunt, the Young Australian Filmmaker Award for his film ‘The Bleed.’
The short, 7 minute film played during the Young Australian Filmmakers section alongside 7 other nominated films on Saturday night, which also marked the film a World Premiere.
“The Bleed is a stark portrayal of family blood contaminated with loneliness and abandonment but shows how quickly it can be cleansed with love”, says the 24yr old, self taught, director.
“This was the first time it had played to an audience and they absolutely adored it.”
Nathan attributes its great reception to the excellent performances of the cast with one making their performance debut. Ihian Mackenzie plays
a lonely old man, bound without a voice box due to cancer of the larynx, and who’s character relies heavily on subtle nuances and expressions,
according to Nathan he nailed it.
“I house sat Ihians place a few years earlier and had since remained friends on facebook and when I wrote the outline to the film I saw his
profile photo and he suited it perfectly. I called him and he took it on. He’s not a trained actor, never acted before but hit all marks with precision.
"His performance starts intentionally restrained with very little to give, he’s angry and upset, frustrated - he has no means to communicate properly with anyone so its all bottled up. Then he meets his grand-daughter, played with absolute beauty by 5yr old Abigail Gracia, and she just breaks him.
"It's a very emotional moment and its one that completes the arc of the story, its the moment when you realise these characters have been salvaged and without their honest, raw performances it would have fallen flat, it wouldn't have worked.”
The film was developed and completed within 7 days in January 2010. Nathan teamed up with co-writer/editor Nick McDougall, co-producer/actor Nathan Dale and composer Andrew Sampford to bring “The Bleed” to life.
“This cost us $500 to make and we shot over 2 days. I used an early HDV model that utilized a cineon filter to give a film effect and a few fluorescent lights to improvise with. Though we shared producing in the end, Nath Dale, with Katrina as Prod Manager, just gets stuff done. He’s a really great producer and a natural actor.”
Nathan enjoys wearing a producers hat but admits it’s more of a control freak factor than anything else and is glad to realise that it’s fine to step aside and just focus on directing.
“The most important thing that this film taught me in particular, is that as a young director, you’re not the only filmmaker making the film you want made. Everyone is there to make a film, their film, and it has to be their film as much as it is yours.
"Its hard to shake ones ego when having ambitions to want to strive to work in such a competitive industry, and prove yourself, but you learn to
understand that even though you’re the ”Director” wanting to tell a story and guide a vision, you have to let your crew and everyone around you
support you, create with you. It has to become organic.
"You collectively create these stories together and they flower into wonderful pieces of work. I just won an award for filmmaking, therefore everyone who I collaborated with won it as well.”
The Bleed will now be entered into a number of national and international festivals and will hopefully find itself infront of more audiences and maybe
“It’s not all about awards, but when you’re young and trying to make it they help. So I’m happy so far.”