Production on Heath Davis’ latest feature film CHRISTMESS is underway in Campbelltown, Greater Western Sydney. Written and directed by Davis (Book Week, Broke, Locusts), the film stars Steve Le Marquand (Last Train to Freo), Darren Gilshenan (No Activity) and musician and vocalist Hannah Joy of alternative indie rock band Middle Kids, in her feature film debut.
Fresh out of rehab, a desperate, once famous actor – Chris Flint (Steve Le Marquand) – takes a job as a Santa Claus in a suburban strip mall where he unexpectedly encounters his long-estranged daughter (Nicole Pastor) and infant grandson. With the love and support of his sponsor, Nick (Darren Gilshenan), and a young, sharp tongued, gay musician in recovery named Joy (Hannah Joy), Chris sets about staying sober in order to win his daughter’s forgiveness for Christmas.
CHRISTMESS is the fourth feature that brings together long-time friends Steve Le Marquand and Heath Davis, with Le Marquand starring in Davis’ previous three films Book Week, Broke and Locusts. Hannah Joy’s highly-anticipated role as ‘Joy’ will see her contribute original music to the film, as well as Christmas covers.
Davis comments “I love Christmas movies, but I’ve never really seen a Christmas movie that depicts the reality of what the holiday season is for many of us – crippling stress, anxiety, malaise and economic struggle, all too often underpinned by alcohol abuse. At its core, CHRISTMESS is a celebration of the human spirit, the kindness of strangers and the healing power of forgiveness. It feels amazing to finally be in production with an incredible team and I can’t wait to share the film with audiences.”
Producer Daniel Fenech adds “Our unconventional Christmas movie has heart, and with Heath and I both having spent a large portion of our upbringing in Greater Western Sydney, it feels right to be shooting the film here in Campbelltown. We have a strong local contingent of cast and crew from the Macarthur region, and there’s a lot of love and community support behind the project.”
CHRISTMESS is written and directed by Heath Davis, and produced by Daniel Fenech, Cindy Pritchard and Matthew McCracken. Executive Producer is Nick Cole. The shoot is taking place over three weeks in Campbelltown, with the cast and crew adhering to COVID-safe filming practices. CHRISTMESS has been financed through crowd funding and the generous support of partners.