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‘Suburban Wildlife’ set for Australian premiere at Sydney Film Festival

'Suburban Wildlife' | Dir. Imogen McCluskey

Suburban Wildlife, the debut feature for AFTRS alumna Imogen McCluskey (Bachelor of Arts: Screen, 2017), who co-wrote it with fellow alumna Béatrice Barbeau-Scurla (Bachelor of Arts: Screen, 2017), will be having its Australian premiere at this year’s Sydney Film Festival.

Made almost entirely by a team of AFTRS Bachelor of Arts: Screen students in the final year of their course, the film fresh off its world premiere at Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival and its selection at international film festivals is going to earn its creators some serious air miles.

Suburban Wildlife at Sydney Film Festival

Sydney audiences will be able to to enjoy Suburban Wildlife as a part of Sydney Film Festival 🎉🎉🎉 Ticket link in the comments. 😍

Posted by Suburban Wildlife – Feature Film on Monday, May 6, 2019

Suburban Wildlife is a coming of age story that explores the struggles of friendship, love, sexuality, and independence. The film follows a close-knit group of friends in their final week together before their lives diverge from each other, possibly forever. 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.

The film was co-written/produced by Beatrice Barbeau-Scurla, produced by Sophie Hattch (Bachelor of Arts – Screen, 2017) and shot by Cinematographer, Lucca Barone-Peters (Bachelor of Arts – Screen, 2017). Shot in Sydney and regional NSW in February 2017, the film features an ensemble cast of emerging Australian talent, including Priscilla Doueihy of On the Ropes (SBS), Hannah Lehmann of Two Sides (Buzzfeed, Snapchat), as well as Alex King (The Checkout, Deadline Gallipoli), Adrian Giribon (Big City), Emily Havea (Wentworth Prison, Sisters), Madeleine Jurd, and Daniela Haddad.

“We wanted our first feature to speak loud and be bold. To capture the light in the country, its humour and spirit,” says McCluskey. “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.”

It will continue on the worldwide festival circuit, at Taormina Film Festival in Sicily and London Australian Film Festival, where Imogen has been selected as their debut director. In addition to garnering worldwide attention, the creators of Suburban Wildlife, who created the feature on a microbudget of $4K have received travel funding from Create NSW.

Along with the screening, Sydney Film Festival is holding Meet The Filmmakers, a panel discussion featuring Imogen McCluskey and fellow AFTRS graduate, Samuel Van Grinsven, director of Sequin in a Blue Room which will have its world premiere at the festival.

The Q&A and party is an opportunity for under-25s to meet and speak with the emerging Australian filmmakers behind these two films. Find out how these young filmmakers got their first feature projects off the ground, then hang around afterwards for a chat and a snack. RSVP to the free event here.

If Imogen’s face looks familiar, you may have seen her two episodes of our Top Tips series, where she shares her knowledge on all things directing, including working on a micro-budget and the importance of telling your own personal story.

She also gave us a little insight into developing your career once you’ve finished film school.

Saturday 8 June, 8:45pm at Event Cinemas George St
Thursday 13 June, 6:15 at Dendy Newtown
Book here.

You can find out more information on the film here.

Director, screenwriter, producer: Imogen McCluskey (Bachelor of Arts – Screen, 2017)
Screenwriter, producer: Beatrice Barbeau-Scurla (Bachelor of Arts – Screen, 2017)
Producer, assistant editor: Sophie Hattch (Bachelor of Arts – Screen, 2017)
Cinematographer: Lucca Barone-Peters (Bachelor of Arts – Screen, 2017)
Cast: Maddy McWillian, Hannah Lehmann, Priscilla Doueihy, Alex King