Alumni Feature Film

Feb 1 2016

AFTRS alumna Sue Brooks' (known for Japanese Story and Subdivision) latest feature drama Looking for Grace starring Radha Mitchell, Richard Roxburgh, veteran Terry Norris and rising teenage star Odessa Young, revolves around a search for a missing teenager and her friend who have run away to see their favourite band.

"It tells the story from different people's points of view, the mother, the father and a retired detective," Brooks said in an interview with SMH journalist Gary Maddox last year.

Shot in the Western Australian wheat belt, Looking for Grace--not unlike Brooks' 2003 acclaimed Japanese Story--opens with an aerial view of the Australian landscape with long searching shots across salt pans in WA.

Non-linear in structure the back and forth narrative presents separate stories for each character as they traverse long, lingering country roads on the trail of Grace. Brooks has always been interested in the fractured narrative saying, “I think it is a fascinating way of telling stories, because there is a sort of ironic distance to your character and the world,” Brooks has said.

Selected for its world premiere in competition at the prestigious Venice Film Festival Looking for Grace was the first Australian film from a female director to be in competition at Venice since 2000 and it was also made by an entirely female team in the key creative roles; producers (Lizzette Atkins, Sue Taylor, Alison Tilson) director (Sue Brooks) dop: (Katie Milwright) and screen composer (Elizabeth Drake). Looking for Grace also was officially selected for the 2015 Toronto and Adelaide International Film Festivals.

“It’s not so much that you think ‘I want all woman doing it ...” Brooks said in an interview with Guardian's Susan Chenery of assembling her crew, “[It’s more that] we had aligned sensibilities. You gravitate towards them. I love the energy that they bring and the attention to detail. And I love recognising their skills."

Looking for Grace was released theatrically across the nation on Australia Day by Palace.

Visit the Palace website for screening details

Image attribution: Still from Looking for Grace. Image sourced from

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The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.