Alice Foulcher and Rowan Davie in ‘That’s Not Me’.

Securing a national cinema release for a micro-budgeted feature from first-time filmmakers is never easy, so hats off to the creative team behind That’s Not Me.

The comedy directed by Gregory Erdstein, who co-wrote the script with his wife, actress Alice Foulcher, opens at nine Palace cinemas on September 7.  The film will also screen at Luna Cinemas in Perth, date to be fixed.

Foulcher plays the dual roles of Polly and her identical twin sister Amy. Polly’s dreams of making it as an actor are shattered when Amy lands a lead role in an HBO show and starts dating her co-star Jared Leto.

Dropped by her agent, fired  from her job and  mistaken for her famous sister, Polly flies to LA only to find out she missed pilot  season by  several months. Back home in Melbourne she decides to use her sister’s celebrity for her own advantage – free clothes, free booze and casual sex – with funny and disastrous consequences.

The cast, which includes Isabel Lucas, Richard Davies, Rowan Davie and Belinda Misevksi, spent four weeks shooting the film over nine months, depending on availability. It was shot on an ARRI Alexa by Shelley Farthing-Dawe.

The budget was just $60,000, post cost $20,000 and Film Victoria has supported the film with about $25,000 in marketing funds, according to Storey Kids’ Anna Kojevnikov, who produced the film with her producing partner Sally Storey, Foulcher and Erdstein.

Erdstein put up most of the production budget using a family inheritance. Foulcher used to work for Palace on its international film festivals. Palace was willing to screen the film but suggested the producers engage an Australian distributor. When that proved fruitless Palace agreed to release it.

Cast and crew deferred their fees.  Kojevnikov says she is confident the producers will recoup and go into profit when the ancillary revenues kick in, handled by Madman Entertainment.

The international sales agent Shoreline, whom the producers met last year at the MIFF 37ºSouth Market, has sold the title to several markets including China, Africa and Turkey.

The comedy had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February, has since played at the Sydney Film Festival, Palm Beach International Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, the Brisbane International Film Festival and the New Zealand International Film Festival, and will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

In his review The Reel Bits’ Richard Gray said the film works best as a character study and a showcase for Foulcher’s talents and is hopefully the start of a fertile feature career for the cast and crew alike.

Foulcher describes the film as deeply personal, observing, “In writing about Polly’s dreams of becoming an actor, I was forced to consider the motivations behind my own aspirations. Choosing a career based on your childhood dreams isn’t enough. I think Polly has just said she wants to be an actor for so long, that she hasn’t stopped to ask herself why – or if she even enjoys  it.

“I believe you should follow your dreams, despite the odds – I don’t want to be on my death bed with regrets of at least not trying. But the joy must be in the doing, because there’s no guarantee of success in this industry. For some, that might be a level of uncomfortable honesty. For me, it’s totally liberating.”

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