by Abhi Parasher

It’s been a busy few weeks for writer/director Adrian Powers. In late September, his feature film, Love is in the Air, made its debut, reaching a global audience on Netflix and swiftly climbing to the second spot on the worldwide most-watched list.

Mere weeks later, Powers is already gearing up for the release of his next feature film, A Royal in Paradise.

“Most of my work prior to both of these films has been pretty dark and gritty,” Powers tells FilmInk. “When the opportunity came up to do something lighter and happier, a film that a family could enjoy, I really wanted to be a part of it. I enjoy making all types of films and these two were no different.”

Co-writing and directing both Love is in the Air and A Royal in Paradise, Powers had a clear vision for the emotional impact that he desired for the romantic comedies as the credits rolled.

“At the end of these films, I wanted the audience to feel heart-warmed, leaving with a smile on their face. You want them to feel entertained and saying, ‘I’m glad I watched that’. The hope is that it transported them somewhere, away from their problems, watching a film that is downright fun.”

While the ultimate outcome for the audience may be joy, the reality for a director is something altogether different, most of the time.

“You are always going to be anxious and feel like the world is on your shoulders, because in some ways it is,” Powers shares. “That being said, there are benefits to doing work like this, which is lighter and warmer. People have the license to laugh and sing on these types of films just by virtue of what we are trying to achieve. Having a cast that buys into that vibe is also important.”

Adrian Powers with Rhiannon Fish and Mitchell Bourke on the set of A Royal in Paradise

On Love is in the Air, Powers found an ally in Australian icon Delta Goodrem.

“If the cast is attuned to the vibe that you’ve set and what you are trying to achieve while still bringing in their own creativity and personality, it will create magic,” he says. “Delta is such a wonderful person and an absolute pro. When we looked at all the attributes of the character, all we could think of was Delta. I think when people see her in Love is in the Air, where she is playing this tough character who doesn’t take any crap, but still has a lovely soft side, they will be reminded of how great of an actor she is along with all her other talents.”

Powers also confirms that the public image of Goodrem, as Australia’s sweetheart, is exactly how she is in person. “She is one of the nicest, most generous, kind people, who was super committed to the job and wanted to do her absolute best.”

He also shared similar sentiments about his A Royal in Paradise star Rhiannon Fish, who is enjoying a moment as a romance film leading lady right now, relocating to Canada and playing roles in both North American and Australian productions in the genre.

Does Adrian Powers have a theory around why the sudden romance genre boom?

“Romantic comedies are extremely malleable in terms of how you consume them. You can watch them on a huge cinema screen, on your TV, or even on your phone and you can still get a kick out of it,” he says. “Working with Netflix was great because they are all creatives as much as they are businesspeople. They always came to us with notes that, in my opinion, made the movie better which just demonstrates that they actually do know what they are talking about.”

With two consecutive feature films poised to captivate audiences, Powers displays no indication of slowing down.

“People always ask what kind of movies I want to make and whether or not I’ll make more romantic comedies,” Powers shares. “To me, I don’t really look at these films as genre films. I first look at the characters and the story and go from there. So, I don’t really know what I’ll make next but there are a lot of different projects on the horizon.”

Love is in the Air is streaming on Netflix now.

A Royal in Paradise is available on Apple TV/iTunes, Google TV/Google Play, Fetch, YouTube, Prime Video and the Foxtel Store now.