Two films developed through the South Australian Film Corporation’s (SAFC) FilmLab initiative will be released in Australian cinemas over the next month.
One Eyed Girl, directed by Nick Matthews, will open in cinemas in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide from April 30th. Premiere screenings in each state commenced last week.
Hailed by critics in the US, the film has had great success on the international festival circuit, winning Best Film in the Dark Matters category at the Austin Film Festival in Texas, receiving four nominations at the forthcoming Madrid International Film Festival, including Best Foreign Film, and has been recently selected to open this week’s Beverly Hills Film Festival.
On May 21st, Touch will also screen in Australian cinemas in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney with the filmmakers hosting Q&As in each state. The premiere event will be held in Adelaide on May 17th with principal cast in attendance.
Written and Directed by multiple award-winner Christopher Houghton and produced by Julie Byrne of Triptych Pictures, Touch premiered at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival to much acclaim and is set to be screened at film festivals in the USA, UK and Europe this year.
South Australian Film Corporation Chief Executive Annabelle Sheehan said the Festival selection and Australian screening schedules of both films demonstrate the success of the highly innovative low-budget, high impact FilmLab initiative.
“SAFC is truly proud of One Eyed Girl and Touch. They both reflect the highly creative work of the teams and the innovative, low-budget approach developed with FilmLab that is so important for the Australian feature sector.”
FilmLab was established to develop filmmakers with a track record in short film to take the next step into long form production. It supported nine teams of filmmakers to produce a feature length drama or documentary.
The filmmakers were put through a rigorous boot camp to develop their ideas and a process for getting their film made. Since 2009 when the first FilmLab workshop was held, the initiative has seen seven projects released with another two projects in development.
The Filmmakers were also given access to mentors and advisors which included FilmLab Patron Phillip Noyce, Stephen Cleary, Paddy Cunneen, Peter Speyer and Rolf de Heer.
One Eyed Girl Director, Nick Matthews says the international success of One Eyed Girl “shows that we can make films that compete in the global market and foster careers of those on either side of the camera.”
Triptych Pictures Julie Byrne said FilmLab has provided a unique opportunity for talented key creatives in the state to fast track their feature film careers, the results of which have brought global attention upon them, the program and the South Australian film industry.
“For Touch and One Eyed Girl to be released theatrically in Australia, in what is a difficult landscape for independent films like these, is quite an achievement and we hope the public will come out in droves to see how good these films are and to support our local film industry,” said Ms Byrne.
The SAFC is very proud of the impact and critical acclaim of all the completed FilmLab films, which have also included the multi-award winning 52 Tuesdays, Shut up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure and The Infinite Man.
52 Tuesdays screened in 2014 at Sundance and the Berlin Film Festival. Director Sophie Hyde went on to win the 2014 Crystal Bear for Best Film in the Generation 14Plus Program at Berlinale as well as the 2014 World Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance.
52 Tuesdays writer Matt Cormack also won an AWGIE Award for Best Feature Film –Original in 2014.
Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (Dir. Matt Bate), the first feature to come out of FilmLab, had its world premiere at Sundance in 2011 to fantastic reviews, while Bryan Mason won an AACTA Award for Best Editing in a Documentary for the same project in 2012.