Sequin In A Blue Room, the student film of recent AFTRS graduate Samuel Van Grinsven, is set to have its world premiere at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival. The queer coming-of-age tale, Sequin In A Blue Room, is the feature debut of Samuel Van Grinsven, who made the film while completing his Master of Arts Screen: Directing last year at AFTRS.
Sexual discovery is on-demand for 16-year-old Sequin, whose hook-up app obsession sends him down a dangerous path in this highly-accomplished queer coming-of-age tale.
Favouring the instant gratification of anonymous, no-strings sexual encounters over meaningful relationships, high schooler Sequin is part of the always logged-on, but never-engaged, hook-up generation. He ghosts ex-partners and remains emotionally unavailable. That’s until he finds his way to an anonymous sex party, where a whole new dizzyingly alluring world unfolds before him. In one scene, Sequin connects with a mysterious stranger, but they are separated suddenly. Utterly fixated on this man, Sequin sets off on an exhilarating and perilous mission to track him down. The world premiere of an accomplished debut by Samuel Van Grinsven, Sequin in a Blue Room is a breath of fresh air from the independent Australian queer film scene.
Co-written by Samuel and LA-based screenwriter Jory Anast, the film was produced by fellow AFTRS alumni Sophie Hattch (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017) – who also worked on Suburban Wildlife, another feature that is screening at this year’s festival, directed by alumna Imogen McCluskey (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017) – and Linus Gibson (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017).
Simon Croker, who plays Tommy in the film is also an AFTRS ex-student, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts: Screen Production in 2018, and with several acting credits under his belt.
In addition to the screenings, on June 8, the Sydney Film Festival program includes a panel discussion featuring the directors of Sequin in a Blue Room and Suburban Wildlife. This Q&A and party is an opportunity for under-25s to meet and speak with the emerging Australian filmmakers behind these two films. Attendees will find out how they got their first feature projects off the ground, then hang around afterwards for a chat and a snack. The event is free, and you can get more info here.
Friday 14 June, 8.35pm at Event Cinemas
Saturday 15 June, 4.30pm at Dendy Newtown
You can find out more about the film here.
Director, Screenwriter: Samuel Van Grinsven (Master of Arts Screen, 2018)
Screenwriter: Jory Anast
First assistant director: Stephanie Stretton
Producers: Sophie Hattch (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017), Linus Gibson (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)
Cinematographer: Jay Grant (Graduate Certificate in Cinematography Fundamentals, 2014)
Additional cinematography: Carina Burke (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017)
1st AC: Dan Abbot (Graduate Certificate in Cinematography, 2014)
Steadicam: Jason Rodrigues
Gaffer: Nicholas Gascoine
Editor: Tim Guthrie (Master of Arts Screen, 2018)
Composer: Brent Williams (Master of Arts Screen, 2016)
Costume designer: William Tran (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)
Production designer: Anna Gardiner
H&M: Oliver Levi-Malouf (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018)