Tagged: Jason Wilder

The Steve Jaggi Company and Incendo have commenced production on the romantic comedy You, Me and the Penguins. This feature film stars Australian actor Tammin Sursok (Pretty Little Liars, Rules of Engagement, Crossing Over), Jason Wilder (Kidnapped, Great White, We Were Tomorrow) and Madeleine West (Neighbours, Playing for Keeps).  Written by Annelies Kavan and welcoming the talent of director Christine Luby (This Little Love of Mine, Dive Club), the film is being shot on location across Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Steve Jaggi, Spencer McLaren and Ian Whitehead, will produce the film; Graham Ludlow is Supervising Producer; Executive Producers are Steve Jaggi, Jean Bureau and Ian Whitehead.

You, Me and the Penguins – Tilly Monterey (Tammin Sursok) works a desk job as the Compliance and Outreach Manager at the Animal Discovery Institute in San Diego. When the Crystal Bay Penguin Sanctuary is threatened with closure and its colony of Little Blue penguins is scheduled to be relocated 2,500km away, Tilly’s dream to work in the field is realised. Accompanied by her sister and mother of three Gemma (Madeleine West), Tilly heads to Crystal Bay… Australia. Arriving at the centre, Tilly is met by the welcoming General Manager Kyle (Stuart Lumsden) and his husband Parker (Nick Hardcastle), alongside Head Zoologist Fletcher (Jason Wilder). Preferring penguins to people, Fletcher begrudgingly welcomes Tilly’s arrival and the two rarely see eye to eye. With only a week to turn the sanctuary around, the group must band together to gather donations, gain funding, and generate interest in the scientific community. As Fletcher teaches Tilly more about the sanctuary’s needs and the Little Blue penguins that they house, his belief in people, and even love, is reignited by the bubbly and intelligent Tilly. Meanwhile, Tilly realises she has never felt more at home than with pragmatic and practical Fletcher. With the sanctuary saved, a dream job in Alaska now on offer and Gemma keen to return to her family, Tilly must decide between leaving Crystal Bay, or staying with Fletcher and the Little Blue penguins he loves so much.

Tammin Sursok has recently returned to Australia from the US, and comments “I’m thrilled to be back here in Australia with my family to film. I was really attracted to this positive and inspiring story, and I can’t wait to get underway with the shoot.”

Director Christine Luby adds “I’ve chosen this project as my second feature because of the smart and capable protagonist we have in Tilly, and her determination to create community and a sense of belonging. We need more stories with female leads with agency and I find that Tilly is an inspiration to us all. Creating the town of Crystal Bay with its adorable Little Blue penguins and small town vibes has been so much fun.”

You, Me and the Penguins
 is the latest feature film in the romance genre from The Steve Jaggi Company, having recently wrapped Love In Bloom, also shot in Brisbane. You, Me and the Penguins will be distributed in Australia by Pivot Pictures. Internationally, the film will be titled Love and Penguins.

Summary:  A fun filled flight to a remote atoll turns into a nightmare for five passengers when their seaplane is destroyed in a freak accident and they are trapped on a raft, 100 miles from shore with man-eating sharks lurking beneath the surface.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 24th June 2021 (Australia), 16th July 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 17th May 2021 (UK)

Country: Australia, USA, UK

Director: Martin Wilson

Screenwriter: Michael Boughen

Cast: Katrina Bowden (Kaz), Aaron Jakubenko (Charlie), Tim Kano (Joji), Tatjana Marjanovic (Tracy), Kimie Tsukakoshi (Michelle), Te Kohe Tuhaka (Benny), Jason Wilder (Luke)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK)


David Griffiths’ Great White Review:

Nobody quite makes low budget cult films the way that Australian filmmakers do. Over the years I have been pleasantly surprised by films like Red Hill and Acolytes, so surprised in fact that I have gone back and re-visited them a number of times. Now Aussie filmmaker Martin Wilson (Roll) raises the Aussie cult flag high once again with Great White, a film I’ll admit was a lot better than I expected it would be.

The story is simple enough. Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko Tidelands) and Kaz (Katrina Bowden – Tucker And Dale vs Evil) are a couple very much in love but their sea plane charter business is in financial difficulty which is putting stress on their relationship.

Things seem to be looking up though when they are approached by a young couple, Michelle (Kimie Tsukakoshi – Secret City) and Joji (Tim Kano – Holding The Man), ask to be taken to a deserted island. However, tensions start to rise not long into the trip when Joji seems to clash with the trip’s chef Benny (Te Kohe Tuhaka – Love And Monters) from the moment they first meet. Of course that pales into insignificance when they realise they have just entered the feeding grounds of a killer Great White Shark who has a recent taste for blood.

It is the simpleness of this film that actually made me love it. There is none of that B-Grade feeling or over-hype that you often get when American cult films – instead Great White has that natural feel that made films like Black Water and The Reef so terrifying to watch. The fact that this film also taps into that primal human fear of sharks means that it deserves to be mentioned alongside other shark films that I have loved over the years including Jaws and The Meg.

Without too much effort Michael Boughen’s screenplay makes these people that you care about… well let’s be honest that doesn’t carry over to Joji who is so unlikable you can only hope that he ends up as shark food. The other characters however are quick to become crowd favourites. Charlie and Kaz are your typical Aussies from next door while Michelle and Benny are just purely likable people. The fact that Boughen doesn’t have to go over the top with his screenplay to make that bond happen between characters and audience show that he is naturally gifted writer that I can only hope we see a lot more work from over the years.

Of course the key to this film working is suspense and Great White has that in spades. From the opening pre-credit demise of Luke (Jason Wilder – Kidnapped) and Tracy (Tatjana Marjanovic – Monsters Of Man) this film has you on the edge of your seat. I didn’t realise just how intense these moments were until I found myself fearing for the safety of each character whenever they found themselves in the water. This doesn’t only come from some good writing and brilliant shots from Wilson but also due to the fact that the sharks look so real throughout the film – not surprising given that the filmmakers mostly use real shark footage and keep the use of the robo-shark to a bare minimum.

Sure some parts of Great White are a little convenient – as in Charlie’s back-story which means that he is a retired marine biologist who just happens to have once been attacked by a shark – but they are easily over-looked by a well written film that knows the power of suspense when it comes to shark films. While some people may want to give Great White a miss because of the fact that this is an Australian film that is there loss because this is easily equal to films like The Reef and 47 Metres Down. Go and see it because sadly I’m not sure it will last long in cinemas.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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