Saara Lamberg in ‘Innuendo.’
Saara Lamberg’s debut feature Innuendo had a limited cinema release in Australia but the psychological thriller will reach a lot more eyeballs in the US and the UK, where it’s just launched on Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime has more than 100 million household members in the US – although Nielsen reported one of its most watched shows, superhero adventure The Boys averaged 4.1 million viewers per episode – and 6.4 million in the UK.
The Finnish/Australian actress/filmmaker plays Tuuli, a nude art class model who moves to Melbourne from Finland and endures a string of broken relationships.
Andy Jans-Brown plays Lucky, whose friendship with Tuuli goes sour, with Andy Hazel as Thomas, a sensitive Uni student and Brendan Bacon as charismatic chainsaw sculptor Ben.
Distributed by Umbrella Entertainment, the film screened at Melbourne’s Cinema Nova and at Blair Northfield’s Pighouse Flicks in Byron Bay, was released on VOD and played on 9Gem.
Blairwood Entertainment’s James Dudelson negotiated the Amazon Prime deals and is also handling foreign sales on Lamberg’s two subsequent films, Westermarck Effect and The Lies We Tell Ourselves.
“I certainly don’t make films for myself so being able to have access to potentially more than 100 million homes in the US feels phenomenal,” Saara tells IF today.
“Maybe one of those homes belongs to one of my favourite film directors and when they are bored at night, with a bit of luck they’ll flip through the selection and watch my indie oddity made here in Melbourne.
“I also hope this would show the Australian film funding bodies that my films do have a mainstream international audience and that I could finally be taken seriously as a filmmaker and access funding for my work.”
Westermarck Effect, which follows Lamberg as Sally, who reconnects and falls in love with Sam (Jayden Denke), the son she gave up for adoption 20 years earlier, will have its international festival premiere later this year. She has started discussing the release with Australian cinemas.
In The Lies We Tell Ourselves, which is in post, she portrays an eccentric art house director who travels to the Cannes Film Festival, Germany, New Caledonia, England and Australia to shoot her latest film.
Along the way she encounters uninvited naked auditions, promoters who want her to sleep with the “right people,” washed-up stars that have ridiculous requests and make-up artists-turned coke dealers.
Jane Badler, Brit Xander Turian and French veteran Gérard Darmon play fictionalised versions of them. The cast also includes Ezel Doruk, Kristen Condon, Andy Hazel, Brigitte Jarvis, Colin Donald, Heidi Salander and Sandy Mowbray-Clarke.