AUSTRALIAN INDIE FEATURE SUBURBAN WILDLIFE TO HAVE ITS WORLD PREMIERE AT CINEQUEST FILM FESTIVAL, CALIFORNIA
The highly anticipated debut feature film ‘SUBURBAN WILDLIFE’ from AFTRS alumni, Imogen McCluskey, has just announced its world-premiere at Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival, March 5 – 17th 2019.
The film has already been warmly received by indie filmmakers across the country, as well as receiving glowing reviews. This female driven and created, diverse piece of storytelling will be one to watch this year.
A coming-of-age film set in Sydney’s outer suburbs, ‘Suburban Wildlife’ explores the struggles of friendship, love, sexuality and independence faced by young adults. The dreams, desires and surreal yearnings of the characters play out against the hot tarmac, basketball courts, and swimming pools of suburban Australia. Co-written and directed by Imogen McCluskey.
Starring an exciting ensemble cast of emerging Australian actors, such as Priscilla Doueihy who recently starred in Shannon Murphy’s gritty boxing-drama ‘On the Ropes’ (SBS), the film follows a group of close-knit friends in their final week together before their lives pull them apart. In an effort to save their friendship they embark on a road trip to regional Australia where they explore their deepest desires in the bush.
“We wanted our first feature to speak loud and be bold. To capture the light in the country, its humour and spirit. This film is about the complexity of simultaneously being young and growing older: reaching a crossroads you weren’t prepared to meet. It’s all part of growing up, of becoming more than just Suburban Wildlife” – Imogen McCluskey.
The film also stars Hannah Lehmann (The Out There), Maddy McWilliam (The Checkout, Gem), Alex King (The Checkout, Deadline Gallipoli), Adrian Giribon (Big City), Emily Havea (Wentworth Prison, Sisters), Madeleine Jurd, and Daniela Haddad.
A main motivation for making the film was to represent a female lead who is struggling with her sexuality in a way that is understated and truthful to the creators experiences. “We felt that often queer narratives involve tragedy, sadness and loss, or a dramatic revelation that always seems disingenuous. In Suburban Wildlife, our lead character Nina is exploring her sexuality in her own way, making mistakes and fumbling, in the face of losing her best friend – who she realises she loves. There is no neat ending or resolution here, just as in life” – Imogen McCluskey.
Imogen and co-writer Béatrice Barbeau-Scurla are both travelling to the US to attend the festival. Béatrice has recently received Screen Australia development funding to produce a web series called ‘Chen PM 3010’ whilst studying a Masters of Screenwriting at AFTRS.
Imogen received the coveted EU Film Award on graduation from the AFTRS Bachelor of Arts (2017), which took her short film ‘Gem’ to Film Fest Gent in 2018. She was one of the writers chosen for Imogen Banks and Alice Bell’s Gender Matters Initiative, Smart for a Girl, producing her first 1hr sci-fi pilot, The Ground. Her short film ‘Natural’ was a finalist for The Horizon Award, supported by Sundance 2018. Imogen is working on a slate of projects across features, web series, television and music videos. With a bold and unique voice, Imogen is definitely one to watch.
On the premiere of her debut feature film, Imogen said: “Being selected for Cinequest Film Festival is a dream come true! Making our first feature on this tiny micro-budget has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life, and I can’t wait to celebrate with our incredibly talented cast and crew. It’s awesome to be part of a festival that truly supports independent cinema, I’m excited to see how American audiences respond to what feels like a very Australian story and setting.”
Suburban Wildlife was made on a micro-budget after successfully crowdfunding $4,000 from a Pozible campaign. The team were able to shoot the film in the Summer of 2016 and have since gotten support from emerging production companies Fat Salmon and Take Two Productions for post-production and festival deliverables.
Suburban Wildlife will be screening at Cinequest San Jose in March 2019. To book tickets head to this link: https://bit.ly/2CVt9Wy
It is currently seeking distribution.
Catch the trailer for ‘SUBURBAN WILDLIFE’ through the link below: https://www.suburbanwildlifefilm.com/trailer