Michael Rowe’s Early Winter to premiere in Venice
Australian director, Michael Rowe's new film Early Winter will have its world premiere today at the Venice Film Festival.
The film’s Australian producer Trish Lake is in Venice with Rowe and the two lead actors, Suzanne Clément (winner of the Un Certain Regard – Best Actress award at Cannes in 2012 for her role in Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways) and Canadian actor Paul Doucet.
Lake said to be in Venice with such an international co-production between Canada and Australia at Venice Days was very exciting.
"There is already strong word of mouth on the film – a real buzz about it in the festival," she said.
"There were more than a hundred 100 media representatives who attended the first day’s press screening and, from what I understand, that is something of a record number for the first day of a Venice Days press screening.
“The fact that we have an Australian writer-director, from Mexico City, who has written a deeply personal film from his Australian experiences and relocated the story to Quebec for his first English language film, makes this a unique international collaboration."
Rowe's previous films, including his Camera D’Or winning Leap Year have been in Spanish and set in Mexico.
He divides his time between his hometown of Ballarat and Mexico City, where he has lived for the past 20 years.
To cap off the international flavour, Australian editor Geoff Lamb and post house Cutting Edge worked with Michael and myself on the film in Queensland.
Early Winter is the the story of David, a man in his forties, who lives a predictable life with his wife Maya and their two children.
To please his wife with the latest gadgets, he works solitary shift work, days and nights, as a janitor in a retirement home.
But when he begins to suspect that Maya is having an affair, he starts to lose ground, his past threatening to smash everything in his path.
Michael Rowe studied English post-colonial literature at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
He started his artistic career as a poet, winning the Melbourne Fringe Festival Poetry Prize.
He then moved to theatre and wrote three plays. In 1994, at the age of 23, he travelled to Mexico and made it his adoptive home.
In 1998, while in Mexico, he began a career as a journalist while studying screenwriting at a Vincente Leñero workshop.
In 2006, he directed his first short film, Cacahuates. Silencio followed in 2007. In 2010, he directed Leap Year. His follow-up film, The Well, premiered at the Rome Film Festival in 2013.