The new Australian feature film “Lonesome”, from director Craig Boreham, has been acquired for world sales by the international film sales outfit M-Appeal and will be launched at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin.
“Lonesome” tells the story of Casey (Josh Lavery), a country lad running from a small-town scandal who finds himself down and out in the big smoke of Sydney. When he meets Tib (Daniel Gabriel), a young city lad, struggling with his own scars of isolation, both men find something they have been missing but neither of them knows quite how to negotiate it.
This is the second feature film from award winning director Craig Boreham who’s debut feature film “Teenage Kicks” premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2016 to critical acclaim with the Guardian describing Boreham as “a strong new voice in Australian Queer cinema.”
Boreham directed and produced the film alongside producers Ben Ferris and Ulysses Oliver of Breathless Films, and Dean Francis of JJ Splice Films who was also the film’s Director of Photography. With executive producer Paul Struthers and associate producer David Libter.
M-Appeal said in a statement “We’re very happy to welcome on board Lonesome. It takes audiences on a thrilling, hedonistic, erotic journey, depicting two characters, who not only seek sexual fulfilment but also acceptance and a meaningful bond.”
Producer Ben Ferris describes Lonesome as “a poignant and timely queer love story, and one that emerges unexpectedly amid the transactional world of casual hook-up culture.
Craig’s talent as a director allows him a lightness of touch to find the comic in the tragic, while losing none of the authenticity and tenderness at the film’s heart. Dean Francis’ photography lends a cinematic grace to the basements and rooftops of a Sydney less frequently depicted on screen.”
Tender new family drama The Longest Weekend, starring rising talent Mia Artemis (Sweet Tooth, Pieces of Her), wraps production in Sydney.
Production has wrapped on the independent family drama The Longest Weekend, the first feature film from emerging director Molly Haddon in collaboration with writer/producer Jorrden Daley and producer Rebecca Yates.
The Longest Weekend tells the story of three disconnected siblings, Lou (Artemis), Avery (Elly Hiraani Clapin) and Rio (Adam Golledge), who, while their mother Sadie (Tammy MacIntosh) is away, unexpectedly converge on the family home over the course of a long weekend. During this rare time together sisters Lou and Avery discover that their long-absent abusive father Mark (John Batchelor) has reached out to make contact with their younger brother, Rio. The Longest Weekend is a raw and tender film about the healing power of speaking the unspoken and finding a way to move beyond your circumstances.
“I wanted to make a film that was relatable, that people could see themselves in, even in the smallest of ways,” says Director Molly Haddon. “But it’s an emotional piece that touches on some very raw elements that everyone feels but tries to avoid. Holding yourself accountable, recognising your flaws, trying to change is never easy. Our actors had to delve deep. They brought these characters to life with their dedication and their honesty, and I’m so grateful for that.”
Joining Haddon is friend and collaborator Jorrden Daley who is co-producing as well as screenwriter. “Molly and I have been talking about working together on a feature project for years,” says Daley, “We’ve always explored similar themes in our work, and this story came together so naturally, it felt like the perfect project to collaborate on.” They are joined by ARIA-nominated Director of Photography Jack Shepherd.
The creative team has joined forces with Ben Ferris and Ulysses Oliver from Breathless Films with The Longest Weekend now the third feature announced by the newly established independent production company, following Tennessine, a romantic thriller, and Lonesome, a queer love story, both currently in post-production. All three productions reflect the company’s aim to merge creative risk-taking with commercial viability for a diverse community of Australian filmmakers.
Unflinching new feature Lonesome, from Director Craig Boreham, begins filming in Sydney.
Shooting has begun in Sydney on the independent feature Lonesome, the second feature film from writer, director Craig Boreham following his acclaimed feature debut Teenage Kicks which is now streaming on Netflix Australia.
Lonesome is the story of Casey, a closeted country lad running from a small-town scandal, who finds himself down and out in the big smoke world of hook-up apps and anonymous sex. When he meets Tib, a young gay man who entertains a string of meaningless encounters with random men to distract from his own scars of isolation, both men find something they have been missing but neither of them knows quite how to negotiate it. Lonesome stars new-comers Josh Lavery in the role of Casey and Daniel Gabriel as Tib with Anni Finsterer (Sweet Country) and Ian Roberts (Superman Returns) in supporting roles.
“It’s exciting to be telling this story with such a brilliant cast,” says Director Craig Boreham. “It’s a very queer tale and a very specific storyworld that we are building and our actors are throwing themselves into it with the kind of daring energy that the story deserves.”
Joining Craig in the creative team is long time friend and collaborator Dean Francis (Drown) from JJ Splice, who is co-producing as well as Director of Photography. “Dean and I have been talking about working together on a feature project for years,” says Boreham, “We have both explored similar themes in our work and have been great support for each other’s projects over the years and this just felt like the perfect project to collaborate on.”
“I was very drawn to Craig’s screenplay because it doesn’t hold back in telling a queer story explicitly and with emotional authenticity. Both Craig and I are accustomed to being slapped with an R18+ rating for our work and we are both driven as filmmakers to push back against the conservatism of Australian cinema,” says Francis, who’s second feature film Drown was the best-selling feature at the Mardi Gras Film Festival.
The pair have joined forces with Ben Ferris and Ulysses Oliver from Breathless Films with Lonesome becoming the second feature announced by the newly established independent production company, following Tennessine, a romantic drama currently in post-production. Both productions well reflect the endeavour of the company’s aim at fostering the opportunity to merge creative risk-taking with commercial viability for a diverse community of Australian filmmakers.
Lonesome is an indie feature film exploring sexuality, loneliness and isolation in a world that has never been more connected.
TENNESSINE, a new Australian feature film, is currently in production in Sydney and regional New South Wales. The film is directed by award-winning Australian-Iranian filmmaker Amin Palangi (Love Marriage in Kabul) and written by and starring AACTA Award winner Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding). TENNESSINE is a psychological drama following Arash (Osamah Sami), named after the Persian mythical archer, who against his family’s wishes, arrives in Australia to reunite with the love of his life, the elusive Nazanin (emerging new talent Faezeh Alavi). While the couple is about to spend a romantic weekend in a cabin in the woods, the arrival of Nasser (AACTA-nominated actor Robert Rabiah), owner of the rural property, interrupts the idyllic reunion Arash had hoped for and raises doubts about his connection with Nazanin. Soon, Arash learns of deep harboured secrets, which leads him down a path of self-destructions.
Set against a background of migration, TENNESSINE portrays the effects of displacement and explores themes of family duty, belonging and love. Predominantly spoken in Persian, the film also tells the story of an entire generation of young people separated due to circumstances beyond their control, and the consequences of these events on their relationships and identities.
A collaborative and explorative work, TENNESSINE’s independent production emerged from a buzzing, fertile loam of culturally diverse Australian creatives with shared grounds in migration, cinema and storytelling.
TENNESSINE is an original story by Amin Palangi and Osamah Sami, produced by Palangi Productions and newly established production house Breathless Films.
Amin Palangi is an Australian-Iranian award-winning filmmaker and significant contributor to the Australian Arts & Cultural diversity landscape with programs and projects in arts and in the screen industry in particular. His debut documentary, Love Marriage in Kabul, won the Audience Award at Sydney Film Festival, Best Director from the Australian Directors Guild and was finalist at Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism. His credits also include a number of short films and web series. Known for his intimate and captivating portrait of people in extreme circumstances, Amin received a Cine Award as a cinematographer for Afghanistan By Choice, directed by Sundance and Emmy Award winner Alexandria Bombach. Amin directs the Persian Film Festival in Australia, is a lecturer at UNSW and was a member of Screen NSW Film and Television Industry Advisory Committee. Amin’s current projects include the production of TENNESSINE and the distribution of its proof-of-concept short film Break. His second feature film project Common Ground, co-written with Eve Spence and currently in development, received development funding from Screen NSW, successfully entered the current Attagirl Program.
Osamah Sami is an award-winning actor, writer, and comedian, born in war-torn Iran to Iraqi parents. The Commonwealth of Australia recognised Osamah Sami as a Notable Australian Muslim, and his creative contribution to the screen industry has been acknowledged and acclaimed on numerous projects. Osamah co-wrote and starred in the hit Australian film Ali’s Wedding, which won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at Sydney Film Festival, as well as The Age Critics Prize for Best Australian Film, and the Cinéfest Oz Prize for Best Film. His screenplay earned him an Australian Academy (AACTA) Award, an Australian Writers Guild (AWGIE) Award, and a Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA) Award for Best Screenplay. He also received AACTA Award, FCCA Award, and Australian Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Lead Actor. His critically acclaimed memoir Good Muslim Boy won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and Highly Commended at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and was adapted for the stage in 2018 for Malthouse Theatre Co and Queensland Theatre, selling out both seasons. Finally, his work in Melbourne Theatre Company’s I Call My Brothers earned him a Green Room Award nomination for Best Lead Actor on a Main Stage production. Osamah won the Creative Artist of the Year title at the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards (2019).
Ulysses Oliver has over 20 years experience in development of media productions, as the managing director and founder of Select Field. He founded and curated the Sandfly Film Festival taking international shorts to screens in Sydney and regional NSW and across the world with screenings in Paris, New York, LA and Bogata. He has managed complex production projects with large teams both in Australia and Internationally and has a proven record of accomplishment in delivering successful multimedia solutions. In 2008 Ulysses completed a Diploma of Film at the Sydney Film School where he went to be an integral part of the Sydney Film School Advisory Board. Since then he has been writing, directing and producing short films, music videos, documentaries and feature films. He produced the multi award-winning short film, Amanecer (2009) which has been selected for numerous international festivals and Australian short, and The Telegram Man (2011) starring Jack Thompson, which received an honourable mention at the Oscars. He wrote the feature film The Perfect Weapon (2016) starring Steven Seagal.
Ben Ferris is one of Australia’s most respected experts in education for the screen and media sector, and is a passionate champion of the arts. He founded the UBS Film School at the University of Sydney in 2001, and the world- renowned Sydney Film School in 2004, built around the core values of Courage, Curiosity and Compassion. As its Director for fourteen years he has produced 1000+ alumni who work in the film industry in more than 40 countries worldwide, and 1000+ student short films that have been screened in hundreds of film festivals worldwide, including 20 Academy-Accredited festival screenings. Mr Ferris is also an internationally critically acclaimed film producer in his own right, producing the feature films Three Blind Mice (2008), Penelope (2009), and the acclaimed documentaries 57 Lawson (2016), and In(di)visible (2020). He is a current board director of the Documentary Australia Foundation.
Palangi Productions was founded during the making of Love Marriage in Kabul out of a belief in the transformative power of screen stories and a desire for creation of culturally diverse content that invite a wide audience to experience and explore unspoken issues and narratives. Other credits include Break, Seeing the Elephant and the current production of second feature film TENNESSINE. www.palangi.com.au
Responding to a lack of support for independent and emerging filmmakers in Australia, Breathless Films is establishing a sustainable film production ecosystem as a platform for a new wave of micro-budget feature films. It is Breathless Films’ aim to support, unashamedly, contemporary film auteurs who are telling bold and uncompromising Australian stories. breathlessfilms.com.au