By Sam Dallas
Seven Australian films have opened themselves up for North American success after being selected at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Griff The Invisible, Blame, Wasted On The Young and Jucy are the latest additions to the festival, which is renowned as the “launching pad” into the North American market.
Griff, Blame and Wasted will be presented as part of the Discovery program – a showcase for new and emerging filmmakers – while Jucy will be part of the Contemporary World Cinema program – a collection of prize-winning film selections.
Leon Ford’s Griff, starring Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), about an office worker – and superhero – who has his world turned upside when he meets a beautiful young scientist, is set to be released early next year by Transmission.
Blame, the first feature film by WA producers Ryan Hodgson and Melissa Kelly, is about a group of five vigilantes who seek revenge for a sexual betrayal fall far from grace. When the truth is out they find themselves on the dark side of justice. The Michael Henry flick, also produced by Michael Robinson and starring Sophie Lowe (Beautiful Kate), is set for release in the first half of next year.
Wasted On The Young – another WA production – tells the story of an incident at a high school party that sets off a dramatic chain of events and has two brothers finding their lives at the mercy of popular opinion. Directed by newcomer Ben C. Lucas, the film is due to come out early next year.
WA Arts Minister John Day said in a statement that TIFF was one of the most important film festivals and provided a “terrific” platform to prospective US and Canada buyers.
Chick buddy flick Jucy, an 81-minute comedy by Louise Alston, is about Jackie and Lucy – together nicknamed ‘Jucy’ – who spend all their time together. However, tension builds when Jackie gets a guy and Lucy gets a job. Produced by KCDC’s Kelly Chapman, Jucy is the second instalment in Alston’s trilogy of “quarter-life crisis” films.
The newly-added films join Australian/UK co-production The King’s Speech** (Gala Presentations), Machete Maidens Unleashed (Real To Reel) and Mother Of Rock: Lillian Roxon (Real To Reel), which will all feature at the festival, between September 9 and 19.
It’s been a great couple of years for Aussie movies at TIFF, with a record 17 features screening last September. Movies shown last year included Mao’s Last Dancer, Bran Nue Dae and Daybreakers.
For more information on TIFF, click here.
**Screen Australia does not consider the film to be Australian; however it's produced by See Saw Films.