The true story of a young male Australian nurse who was falsely accused of rape has inspired the feature film Rise, which is shooting in Queensland.
It’s the first feature from writer-director Mack Lindon, a co-founder of Gold Coast-based Vision Films Australia.
Nathan Wilson plays the nurse, Will, who is accused of drink spiking and rape after a one-night stand. Found guilty at trial, he’s sentenced to six years in prison. Will is incarcerated in a maximum security prison where he meets Jimmy (Martin Sacks), a hardened inmate who was responsible for a spate of armed robberies.
Jimmy is inspired by Will’s courage and determination. Erin Connor plays the QC who appeals his case in the Supreme Court. Gemma Laurelle is the primary antagonist, Constable Rossi, and Linda Millar is the chief warden.
The unit is shooting at a disused jail. “It's eerie and surreal shooting in a big, real, empty jail,” says Gemma, a fast-rising actress whose credits include Eddie Arya’s The Navigator, Dave Sparx’s The 5th Shadow and Kiah Roache-Turner’s zombie movie Wyrmwood.
“It’s based on a true story so it has some real human spirit, which is evident from the passion of the cast and crew involved,” Laurelle tells IF.
The DoP is Geoff McLeod, founder/owner of Sputnik Films. The production team includes Amy Jarvis, Maya Weidner, Dan Warner, Candice Stone, Shaun Thompson and John Stefanatos.
The producers raised $30,000 via crowdfunding site Pozible and some private investment. Lindon tells IF he has been discussing the project with prospective Australian distributors and sales agents.
He hopes to launch the film at the Cannes film festival next year. The development trailer monikered Rise of the Underdog won best trailer at the HollyShorts Film Festival in Los Angeles in August.
Lindon completed a Bachelor of Nursing in 2005 and spent time treating HIV sufferers in remote villages of Uganda. He has acted in live shows, short films and TVCs.