by Abhi Parasher

Birdeater follows a bride-to-be, Irene (Shabana Azeez), who is invited to her fiancé, Louis’s (Mackenzie Fearnley) bachelor party, but when uncomfortable details of their relationship are exposed, the night takes a feral turn.

“We met at AFTRS, and we were throwing around ideas to make a feature after we left,” explains Jack. “I brought this idea to Jim one day about a couple with separation anxiety, which was exciting because it felt contained.”

Birdeater deals with differing perspectives on youth culture through the lens of an ensemble of eccentric personalities. With delicate topics such as emotional abuse at the forefront, it was of utmost importance to the filmmakers to approach the film with sensitivity.

“We knew that we needed the audience to enjoy the company of these characters first and then invert that in the second half,” the pair explain. “Ultimately, we had to trust the audience to understand the intent behind what we were doing.”

Despite a unique story and style, like many filmmakers, Jack and Jim still had to face the constraints of a low budget and time restrictions.

“You probably can’t tell when you’re watching the movie, but we made a lot of concessions every day,” says Jim. “The thing that made it though is that we really relied on our strengths. We knew we had a great Director of Photography [Roger Stonehouse], a great location and an extremely talented ensemble of actors.”

With their first feature in the can, the burgeoning filmmakers are looking ahead to their next venture.

“We run a production company together, so we’ll be working together for a long time” says Jim. “We might not be co-directing every feature, but we’ll definitely be working together.”

Birdeater is currently on the film festival circuit.

“We’re eager to go around Australia quite a bit and talk to local audiences” says Jack. “I think it will be received differently with international audiences compared to local ones.”

Birdeater screens at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival on 10 and 14 July 2024, click here for tix.