New Film On The Block
A new feature headlined by Christina Ricci and Jack Thompson is set to start filming in Sydney’s Redfern this month.
Around the Block, a drama about breaking free of cultural cycles and prejudices, will commence shooting in Sydney this June.
Starring Christina Ricci and Jack Thompson, the film centres on a young drama teacher, Dino, attempting to stage a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet with her class at Redfern High School. By comparing the rhyming couplets of Shakespeare's dialogue with those of famous hip-hop artists, an alternative world of parallels emerges.
Set in a suburb notorious for its tough inhabitants, history and lifestyle, Dino's influence on a young man named Liam, torn between his passion for acting and following in the footsteps of his criminally minded brother, proves vital in shaping his future.
"This a story about freedom, the ability to choose one's own path in life and create one's own destiny," said writer/director Sarah Spillane. "As Liam is led down two opposing paths by his criminally minded brother and optimistically inspiring teacher he becomes painfully aware that he must make a decision that will shape his life forever."
"Although this is a hard gritty urban tale set in the cauldron of the Block in Redfern, what attracted us to this story is that it does not look at past grievances but rather the strengths and opportunities of the future," said producers Su Armstrong and Brian Rosen.
Around the Block is the first feature film for new production company, Tree Productions, created by Armstrong and former FFC head, Rosen. Their aim is to produce stories with an Australian perspective that will resonate with global audiences.
Jack Thompson has had his eye on Around the Block for years, saying he believes "this will be out of the box." Thompson is also executive producer of the film.
"I believe this is the most exciting Australian project for me, since working with Baz Lurhmann on Australia," the Australian veteran actor said. "I know that Christina Ricci will bring her own special quality to join an already fabulous cast."
Other cast members confirmed for the production include Matt Nable (Bikie Wars: Brother In Arms), presenter Ruby Rose, Snowtown's Dan Henshall and Damian Walshe-Howling.
Around the Block has been planned for a fall 2013 release.
Photo credit: Ricci, courtesy of Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris.