Ivan Sen: From Mystery Road Back to Sci-Fi

November 12, 2018
First announced a decade ago, the next film from the acclaimed filmmaker will be the romantic sci-fi film Loveland.

“The main reason it took so long was the script,” Sen told us. “It evolved from an action film into a romance and then entered the realm of science fiction. I didn’t want to just write a script that had broad appeal. It was important to maintain a certain spirit and integrity. In the end, it was a natural process that gradually found its own way out while I was making other films. So after many years of reflection, we are now finally heading towards production.”

Set in a futuristic Chinese mega-city and to be filmed in Hong Kong, Loveland has also attracted Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten to head up the cast.

“It’s a story about the struggle for love in a loveless future, and how the things we do are the things we become, and is there any way back?” continues the filmmaker.

“I can’t quite find the words to describe Ryan and Hugo’s involvement. They have been one hundred percent behind the film from the moment they read the script. They totally understand the sensitivity of the project and the hidden meaning which will float to the surface when the film is visualised. They just get it, and I’m so thankful.”

First announced prior to Ivan Sen’s micro-budget 2009 sophomore feature film Dreamland, which we actually listed in our top 10 Australian sci-fi films feature, the filmmaker then went on to make indigenous themed films such as Toomelah, Mystery Road and its sequel Goldstone.

“I find sci-fi to be the most untapped film genre and potentially the most profound,” says Sen. “But in reality, it’s an expensive genre to produce and this has been to its own detriment resulting in a lack of courage in pushing its boundaries. The inspiration of Loveland has not come from any films or books, but reality. It’s not a cliched dystopian future, it’s an extension of now.”

Famous for multi-tasking (writing, directing, shooting, editing, composing) on his projects, can we expect similar on Loveland? “This film has been pumping through my veins for ten years,” answers Sen. “It’s been a long time, and I have had a chance to really focus on how I will present the world to the audience. I have so much love and passion for it. I’ll just leave it at that.”

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