Top: Hunter Page-Lochard, Lily Sullivan. Bottom: Bobbi Salvor Menuez, Isabel Lucas.
Isabel Lucas, Hunter Page-Lochard, Lily Sullivan and US actor Bobbi Salvor Menuez (Transparent, Nocturnal Animals) lead the ensemble cast of Daniel Askill’s debut feature film, a currently untitled psychological thriller.
The See Pictures and Collider project has just started shooting in the Cape Tribulation rainforest in Queensland, with Priscilla Doueihy, actor/musician Kirin J Kallahan and Trevor Jamieson also set to star.
The film follows six individuals who receive an alluring invitation for a summer retreat from an enigmatic host but find themselves trapped by a mysterious force in a surreal psychological test. The project is semi-scripted; the actors are working to a structured framework for improvisation rather than a traditional screenplay.
Askill makes his feature film debut following a career as a visual artist, music video and commercials director, including Grammy-nominated music videos with Sia for ‘Chandelier’ and ‘Elastic Heart’, which have been viewed over two billion times. He reteams with Salvor Menuez after their recent Leonard Cohen music video ‘Happens to the Heart’. Other recent projects of Askill’s include New York Times VR experience Take Flight starring Michael Fassbender, Benicio del Toro and Charlize Theron, and the short film Universal Machine.
The film’s producers are Jamie Hilton and Isabel Stanfield for See Pictures and Rachel Ford Davies and Olivia Hantken for Sydney-based Collider, which Askill co-founded. Lucas and Askill will executive produce alongside his co-writers Lucy Bidwell and Gregory Stern for Collider Studios NYC; Will Alexander for Heckler, who are providing post-production services; and Sonia Borella at See Pictures.
Askill says: “It’s both wonderful and surreal to be finally starting my first feature film, and I couldn’t be happier to be doing it here in Australia, with my brothers Lorin and Jordan, a few of my closest friends as co-writers (Lucy and Greg), See Pictures and my Collider family. I am particularly excited to work with the amazing cast who have gravitated towards this project and are trusting a very nontraditional process.”
Lucas says: “I was immediately drawn to this project, the process, and Daniel’s amazing body of work. It’s also wonderful to work with producer Jamie Hilton again, it’s been more than a decade since we made The Waiting City in India.”
Hilton adds, “We are huge fans Daniel’s iconic work and being part of his first long form project is beyond exciting for See Pictures and our financial and creative collaborators. This film is also an art project, and spending December filmmaking in the old growth Daintree rainforest is a wonderful opportunity for all involved.”
Hilton’s Ticket to Ride Distribution will handle worldwide sales for the film. Askill is repped by Anonymous Content and CAA.