‘H is for Happiness’
Richard Roxburgh, Emma Booth, Miriam Margolyes, Joel Jackson, Deborah Mailman and newcomers Daisy Axon and Wesley Patten are starring in H is for Happiness, a family drama/comedy which marks the feature debut of theatre director John Sheedy.
Adapted from Barry Jonsberg’s children’s book ‘My Life As An Alphabet’ by writer/producer Lisa Hoppe, the film is now shooting in the WA coastal town of Albany, produced by Julie Ryan, Tenille Kennedy and Hoppe.
Perth-based Axon, who made her debut in Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy and Punch, plays Candice Phee, a 12-year-old with boundless optimism and a unique view of the world, who is determined to bring her dysfunctional family back from the brink.
Patten, who won the best young actor award at this year’s St Kilda Film Festival for his performance in Sheedy’s short film Mrs McCutcheon, plays Douglas Benson, a character from another dimension.
Roxburgh and Booth are cast as Candice’s parents with Jackson as her rich uncle Brian and Margolyes as Miss Bamford.
Sheedy said: “During the casting process we saw an extraordinary range of talent from all across Australia and New Zealand and I’m very excited to introduce the very talented Daisy Axon, who is the perfect choice as our lead protagonist.
“I am equally thrilled to collaborate once again with the incredibly charismatic Wesley Patten. They are two very gifted young actors who have a very big career ahead of them.”
The key crew includes DOP Bonnie Elliott (Palm Beach, Romper Stomper), production designer Nicki Gardiner (Hotel Mumbai, Lion), costume designer Terri Lamera (Breath), hair and make-up artist Karen Sims (Three Summers, Paper Planes) and casting director Jane Norris (Paper Planes, Nowhere Boys).
Ryan said: “We are so thrilled with the inimitable cast and creative crew set to bring this vibrant world to life. Coupled with the unique vision of our talented director and the beautiful locations in Albany, we know we’re making something special for family audiences and anyone who enjoys a uplifting film experience.”
Abi Tabone is the associate producer and the EPs are Jonathan Page, Bryce Menzies and Avrill Stark.
Screen Australia provided the major production investment. The co-investors are the Western Australia Regional Film Fund, Screenwest, the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund, Film Victoria, Soundfirm and Fulcrum Media Finance. The world sales agent is Tine Klint’s LevelK.