“Long time friends Louise (Hannah Lehmann), Nina (Maddy McWilliam), and Alice (Priscilla Doueihy) celebrate their recent graduation with hectic partying, joined by their friend Kane (Alex King), who is the only friend not to attend university. Louise’s imminent departure for London adds to the underlying tension within the group, and as the boundaries between real and surreal blur, Louise devises an intervention to save their final days together. They embark on a road trip to regional Australia, and upon returning home face the reality of her departure. They are left, a group of suburban animals, on the threshold of their lives.”
Directed by Imogen McCluskey, who also co-wrote the script with Béatrice Barbeau-Scurla, Suburban Wildlife is a microbudget (somewhere in the region of four grand) coming of age film set in Sydney’s outer suburbs that seeks to tackle themes of “…friendships, love, sexuality and independence”.
A coming-of-age film set in Sydney’s outer suburbs, Suburban Wildlife explores the struggles of friendships, love, sexuality and independence faced by young adults. Adrian Giribon (Big City), Emily Havea (Wentworth, Sisters), Madeleine Jurd, and Daniela Haddad round out the cast, while Sophie Hattch produces.
McCluskey, whose short film Natural was a finalist for the Sundance 2018 horizon Award, says, “I grew up not seeing a coming-of-age film told in an Australian voice. We could look to Britain or America, or anywhere else in the world, but were left lacking a film that reflected our experience of reaching adulthood in this hilarious, beautiful and bizarre country. We had Muriel’s Wedding and the relatable banality of Porpoise Spit, or Josie Alibrandi’s adventures in ‘90s Sydney, but that was about it.
“So Suburban Wildlife is a coming-of-age film set in an Australia that I recognise. The suburbia of hot tarmac, brick houses, and messages scribbled on footpaths. Spending sweaty summers at public pools, joyriding at night through empty streets, and dreaming of being anywhere else. The feeling of living on the largest nation island, somewhere that feels so far away from the rest of the world. The feeling of being lost and young and scared. Sunburn and stretchmarks and peeling skin and bruised knees.”