AUSTRALIAN TEEN WRITES AND STARS IN NEW FEATURE FILM
Hal Cumpston, 19, says Bilched is ”an is irreverent, funny and relatable movie – hopefully the perfect antidote to the Australian film industry’s preoccupation with earnest adult drama.”
High profile Australian actors such as Jeremy Sims, Alan Dukes and Rhys Muldoon have thrown their support behind the film and provided cameos, but the bulk of the cast and crew comprise teenagers with varying degrees of professional experience.
The title “Bilched” is a slang term for a “life changing adventure that defies logic”; the film is an honest and humorous look at life in the final days of high school. It follows anti-hero Hal on his mishap-laden journey which reaches climax at an end of school house party, leading Hal to face his fears.
“I wrote Bilched after complaining to my dad about the lack of quality Australian teen films around. There was this golden era in the ’80s and after that, the seminal coming of age films – the really great ones like Dazed and Confused and Superbad – have only come from the US and UK. Aussie teens are pretty funny, I wanted to capture that,” he said.
Hal also confesses he started writing because he had finished high school and “felt like a bit of a dropkick and wanted to do something productive.” He disappeared into his room with the idea to pen a 10-minute comedy short film and emerged 10 sleep deprived days later with an 88 page first draft of his first feature film script.
His dad, actor and director, Dr Jeremy Cumpston, thought it was so funny he offered to help back the project and direct it himself – to Hal’s delight and horror, respectively.
“We’ve essentially broken every conceivable rule in film production – the whole family is involved in every facet of the film, over 80 per cent of the cast are teenagers and some have never acted professionally, and we’ve funded it ourselves—so that’s a no-no trifecta!” Jeremy said.
Jeremy said Bilched was produced on a budget that wouldn’t cover the catering on most films, but through a network of talented and passionate experts willing to take a gamble – work for peanuts for a slice of any future profits – a high quality feature film was birthed.
Bilched will be on at the Ritz before rolling out in select cinemas interstate, www.bilched.com