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‘Sequin in a Blue Room’ en route to Palm Springs

‘Still from Sequin in a Blue Room’ | Dir. Samuel Van Grinsven | Image: Nicholas Gascoine

2019 has been a wild ride for AFTRS Masters’ feature film, Sequin in a Blue Room. Shortly after celebrating a nomination at the AACTA Awards, the feature now caps off its exceptional year with a selection at Palm Springs International Film Festival.

In addition to its whirlwind world tour – collecting accolades, rave reviews, and ovations at every turn – the debut feature of director/screenwriter Samuel Van Grinsven (Master of Arts Screen, 2018) has highlighted him as one of Australia’s most exciting emerging screen talents.

Co-written by Samuel with LA-based screenwriter Jory Anast, the film was made with fellow AFTRS alumni including producer Sophie Hattch and associate producer Linus Gibson (both Bachelor of Arts Screen, 2017), cinematographer Jay Grant (Master of Arts Screen, 2019) and editor Timothy Guthrie (Master of Arts Screen, 2018).

Producer Linus Gibson, actor Simon Croker, producer Sophie Hattch, director/writer Samuel Van Grinsven, actor Conor Leach and writer Jory Anast | AACTA Awards Luncheon

Having its world premiere at Sydney Film Festival in June, the film screened to sold-out crowds, received a standing ovation and went on to win the SFF Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. Just as the film made its international debut at Outfest in Los Angeles, it received a glowing review from The Hollywood Reporter‘s Harry Windsor, who remarked, “Sequin in a Blue Room feels very much of the moment, but it’s upholstered by an impressive command of good old-fashioned craft.”

Other festival berths included Melbourne International Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival, Reeling Film Fest Chicago, Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff (In Competition), Nashville Film Festival and more.

‘Sequin in a Blue Room’ | Photo by Nicholas Gascoine

The film was a contender in the Best Indie Film Category at the AACTA Awards in very good company: Bouyancy, Acute Misfortune, Emu Runner and Book Week. Timothy Guthrie’s work as editor earned him an ASE Ellie Award nomination and Jay Grant’s work on the film won him an Australian Cinematographer’s Society Award.

As the team prepares for the screening in sunny Palm Springs, this January, it looks like the feature and its creators have another big year ahead of them.

Congratulations to Samuel Van Grinsven and the Sequin in a Blue Room team on this cracking year.