Hot on the heels of Austin Film Festival’s early line-up announcement which includes the World Premiere of “One Eyed Girl”, The Backlot Films is proud to announce its plans to release the South Australian psychological thriller in Australian cinemas during the first quarter of 2015.
Starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays) and Mark Leonard Winter (Healing, Van Demons Land), with a gripping screenplay by Matthews and Craig Behenna, One Eyed Girl follows the story of a psychiatrist (Winter) haunted by the death of a former patient, who stumbles upon a Doomsday cult and battles to save a teenage girl (Cobham-Harvey) from its clutches.
Co-founder and director of The Backlot Films, Tony Ianiro says, “Upon our first meeting with David Ngo many months ago, we encountered the same level of passion that he had for his craft which Mark (D’Angelo) and I have for Backlot. There was clearly a positive chemistry from the get go.
“David Ngo’s Projector Films, The Backlot Films and industry publicity and marketing specialists Jameson PR will combine to execute a fresh and unique campaign in the lead up to the theatrical release of ‘One Eyed Girl’ in 2015.
“In many respects, this is a unique project for us as it marks not only our involvement as distributor, but also as the first feature film in which The Backlot Studios, Melbourne was utilised to conduct the final audio mix, using our in house audio team at Backlot Post (Mark D’Angelo & Craig Jannson) in collaboration with one of the best audio re-record mixers in the world, Phil Heywood (The Lego Movie, The Great Gatsby, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy).
“The film itself is charismatic, honest and rich in production values, whilst the subject matter depicted in ‘One Eyed Girl’ – ‘a cult and its laws of attraction’ will remain with viewers long after they have witnessed it.
Our next phase is to introduce the film to our exhibition partners. We will create a long lead campaign and endeavour to get exhibition and media genuinely excited about One Eyed Girl in the lead up to its release.
“We are fortunate to have access to the filmmakers and key cast for in cinema Q&As across the country, pre-release – a strong indication that veryone attached to this project is committed…..it’s now time to make it happen!”
Produced by David Ngo and Co-Written by Craig Behenna, as part of the SA Film Corporation’s Filmlab program, this film creates a confronting indictment of an ethically lost and alienated society where the blind indeed seem to lead the blind.
Ngo says, “We are so excited to have our film open at the prestigious Austin Film Festival. To know your film will screen in front of people like Tommy Lee Jones, James Franco, Matthew Weiner and Lawrence Kasdan is a huge honour and also, quite frankly, scary as hell.
“We can’t wait to then follow this up with the release in Australia with Backlot. As a filmmaker there’s nothing quite like watching people lining up and buying popcorn to see your movie.
“There’s no doubt the cast will go on to do many big things. Hollywood’s already knocking on young Tilda’s door and I think people will be blown away by Mark’s performance. He really reminds me of a young Daniel Day Lewis.”
The “One Eyed Girl” creative team was selected by a panel of assessors including Margaret Pomeranz (At The Movies), and producer Bridget Ikin (My Year Without Sex, Look Both Ways) to develop the film through the SAFC’s FilmLab program where they were mentored by acclaimed filmmaker Rolf de Heer (Charlie’s Country, Ten Canoes, Bad Boy Bubby).
After two years of writing, casting began in 2012 and used a combination of traditional avenues and social media to discover some of its younger cast members. Having already cast Mark Leonard Winter in the lead male role of Travis, the ‘Search for Grace’ and ‘Search for Marcus’ online campaigns attracted over 600 applicants from all over the world and finally chose Matthew Crook to play Marcus and for the title role, then seventeen year old Tilda Cobham-Hervey, who has been described by Variety magazine as one of five up-and-coming actresses to watch. The film also stars Steve Le Marquand (Rake, Vertical Limit).
Filming began in December 2012 on an isolated farm in the hills of Adelaide. This hugely ambitious film was also the first feature for many of the heads of department – Production Designer Anny Duff, Cinematographer Jody Muston and Make-Up Artist Rebecca Buratto.
“One Eyed Girl” will open in Australian cinemas in early 2015, distributed by The Backlot Films.
This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Nick and Greg take a look at new release films ‘Belle’, ‘The Double’, ‘Healing’, ‘Bad Neighbours,’ ‘A Castle In Italy,’ ‘Chef’ and ‘Seduced And Abandoned’. This episode also features interviews with Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Liz McCarthy and Sean Rodrigo.
Also make sure you listen for your chance to win a double pass to see Belle thanks to Icon Distribution.
To listen to the show you can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here
Summary: After 18 years in prison, Viktor Khadem (Don Hany – East West 101, Offspring, Serangoon Road, Broken Shore) is a man who has almost given up on life. Near the end of his sentence he is sent to Won Wron, a low-security prison farm 200 km outside Melbourne in regional Victoria, where Senior Case Worker Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving) has established a unique program to rehabilitate broken men through giving them the responsibility for the rehabilitation of injured raptors – beautiful, fearsome proud eagles, falcons and owls. Against all odds, Matt takes on Viktor as his number one test case, introducing him to Yasmine, the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle with a two metre wingspan. If these two can tame each other, anything is possible.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th May, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Craig Monahan
Screenwriter: Craig Monahan, Alison Nisselle
Cast: Dimitri Baveas (Yousef), Laura Brent (Stacey), Tony Briggs (Travis), Justine Clarke, Don Hany (Viktor Khadem), Anthony Hayes (Warren), Tony Martin (Prison Warden), Jane Menelaus (Glynis), Joana Pires (Mrs. Yousef), Xavier Samuel (Paul), Richard Stables (Ted), Robert Taylor (Vander), Harry Tseng (Dave), Hugo Weaving (Matt Perry), Mark Leonard Winter (Shane)
Runtime: 120 mins
Over the past few years the prison genre of both the small screen and the big screen has become a reason for screenwriters to portray the art of brutality. Bashings, stabbings even the odd prison gets thrown in as Hollywood expects the audience to believe that most prisons are an absolute war zone. It’s therefore a bit of a relief to sit down and watch Healing, a film that is more about the rehabilitation and emotions of prisoners rather than the physical violence that goes along with prison life.
The central character of Healing is Viktor Khadem (Don Hany – TV’S Devil’s Playground & Serangoon Road), a fifty-something prisoner who has just been placed in the low security prison, Won Wron, as a way to prepare himself for release after serving eighteen years in Pentridge for murder. Here he finds himself befriending the lonely and quite, Paul (Xavier Samuel – Plush, Drift) – a prisoner who doesn’t like to talk about why he is in prison and certainly doesn’t want to see his family.
On his arrival at Won Wron one of the guards, Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving – The Mule, The Turning) realises that Viktor needs to seriously change before he is released but can’t find the right rehabilitation program for him. After seeing Viktor’s reaction to finding an injured wedge-tailed eagle he manages to talk the prison hierarchy into allowing him to set up a program headed up by Viktor which would see a select number of prisoners get to work closely with Healesville Sanctuary looking after injured birds of prey.
The program begins running and seems to have a positive effect on Viktor, however its whole existence seems to rest on the behaviour of Shane (Mark Leonard Winter – The Boy Castaways, Green Eyed), a prisoner whose limited mental capacity makes him seek out approval from those around him, sadly for the others that normally means he is loyal to the prison’s ‘king-pin’ Warren (Anthony Hayes – The Broken Shore, TV’S Secrets & Lies).
The first thing that hits you about Healing is the cinematography. Filmed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, who most would know from his work on The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, the film conjures up some beautiful shots of the wildlife at hand while also capturing some bird-eye views of the Victorian countryside that is rarely seen on the big screen. The visual brilliance of the film is well matched by an emotional script that really captures the thoughts and mind set of prisoners who have to face the reality of once again embarking on the big wide world.
Healing does have its faults though. There is the editing which sadly lets down the spectacular visuals. The cuts are noticeable (which should never happen in feature film) and at times makes you feel like you are watching something like Neighbours or Home & Away. The fact that the film’s bad guy, Anthony Hayes’ Warren, seems to throw back to every prison bad guy stereotype also drags down the film a little as well and at the end of the day makes him less menacing than he should be.
Another plus for the film however is the cast. The fact that smaller roles are filled by actors of the calibre of Tony Martin (Blood Brothers, Closed For Winter) and Robert Taylor (TV’S Mr & Mrs Murder & Longmire) gives a strong testament to how good this script is. Then there is Xavier Samuel and Mark Leonard Winter who put in credible performances, but they are outshone here by the leading men Hugo Weaving and Don Hany. Weaving puts in one of his relaxed-but-still-gripping performances while Hany delivers the performance that his legion of fans expected. Since his early days in White Collar Blue and his award-winning portrayal of Zane Malick in multicultural Police drama East West 101 the public has known that Don Hany would one day become a leading man that warrants feature film status. That certainly arrives with Healing which sees Hany play a character that is almost twenty years older than he actually is. To get into the role he ate junk food and started smoking, the result is a strong performance that should see him start to warrant overseas attention for his services.
Healing is hardly the kind of film that is going to be lapped by the popcorn brigade, no this is more a film for those who love good cinema. Heartfelt and warm Healing is the kind of film that will affect some emotionally.
IMDB Rating: Nil.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Healing′: Please check Dave’s Healing review that aired on First On Film on J-Air on the 4th May, 2014.
Pinnacle Films has launched the trailer for HEALING, the highly anticipated new film from multi-award winning Australian writer/director Craig Monahan (The Interview – AFI Best Film Award Winner, Peaches).
Healing is a powerful, moving story of redemption, the discovery of hope and the healing of the spirit – in the most unlikely place, for the most unique men, through the most unusual catalyst.
Don Hany (The Broken Shore, Serangoon Road, East West 101, Offspring) makes his feature film leading role debut as Viktor Khadem, a man who has almost given up on life after 18 years inside. Near the end of his sentence he is sent to Won Wron, a low-security prison farm 200 km outside Melbourne in regional Victoria, where Senior Case Worker Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving) has established a unique program to rehabilitate broken men through giving them the responsibility for the rehabilitation of injured raptors – beautiful, fearsome proud eagles, falcons and owls.
Against all odds, Matt takes on Viktor as his number one test case, introducing him to Yasmine, the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle with a two metre wingspan. If these two can tame each other, anything is possible.
Inspired by real events, Healing is a new Australian film written and directed by Craig Monahan, the multi-award winning director of The Interview – Winner of Best Film – Australian Film Institute Awards.
The film was shot by Oscar®-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (The Hobbit, LOTR, Babe, Bran Nue Dae) with music by Oscar®- nominated composer David Hirschfelder (Elizabeth, Shine, Strictly Ballroom, The Truman Show, Australia)
Don Hany and Hugo Weaving are joined by a roll-call of some of Australia’s best talent including Xavier Samuel, Tony Martin, Mark Leonard Winter, Jane Menelaus, Robert Taylor, Anthony Hayes, Justine Clarke, Laura Brent and Tony Briggs.
Pointblank Pictures and Pinnacle Films are thrilled to announce that screenwriters Alison Nisselle and Craig Monahan were last night announced as the winners of the 2013 QUEENSLAND LITERARY AWARD for FEATURE FILM SCRIPT, in a ceremony at the State Library Of Queensland in Brisbane.
Developed by the two writers over many years, and directed by Craig Monahan (The Interview) HEALING stars Hugo Weaving and Don Hany in a story of redemption and renewal centred around two men in a low-security country prison – one a warden, the other a long-term prisoner.
This prestigious award places the film’s screenplay and its authors amongst many of the leading lights of Australian writing such as Christopher Koch, Murray Bail, Cate Kennedy and Andrew Bovell; and is the first public accolade for the yet to be completed film.
In awarding the prize to HEALING, the judges commented that “this wholly impressive, truthful work avoids all the usual traps of pursuing ideological agendas or stereotypical storylines, and in so doing, takes us to the source.”
Production of HEALING took place earlier this year on locations in regional Victoria and the film is currently in post-production.
HEALING will be released in Australia in April 2014 by Pinnacle Films.