Australia's first mumblecore film to premiere in Sydney

Published by: Rain Fuller | 22-Jan-2017
Multi-award winning indie Pretty Good Friends will have an exclusive Sydney cinema screening at Paddington's Chauvel Cinema on Tuesday 7 February at 6:30pm.
Venue: Chauvel Cinema
Address: Paddington Town Hall, 249 Oxford St, Paddington 2021
Date: Tuesday 7 February
Time: 6:30pm
Buy / Ticket:
Pretty Good Friends has been dubbed Australia"s first mumblecore film (Cinema Australia). Mumblecore is the unique film subgenre that shot Lena Dunham (HBO"s Girls) to fame, and was first coined in 2005 at America"s South by Southwest Film Festival. Mumblecore films are classified by low budgets, unpolished, "real" sounding dialogue, real places and a departure from simplistic plot structures common to movies designed for mass appeal.

A combination of comedy, romance and drama, Pretty Good Friends examines the intersection between friendship and love, and how human connection can ignite unknown truths within us, for better or Multi-award winning indie Pretty Good Friends will have an exclusive Sydney cinema screening at Paddington's Chauvel Cinema on Tuesday 7 February at 6:30pm.

The Melbourne-made indie played at Melbourne's Classic and Cameo Cinemas and received rave reviews from both critics and audiences.

Emerging writer and director Sophie Townsend (Amalume Films) was inspired to create a Melbourne mumblecore film using a small cast and crew and an even smaller budget.

"I wanted to create a story that captured Melbourne on screen in a way I had not seen before, utilising some of it's less explored nooks and crannies," says Sophie.

"We wanted our actors to have a major input in creating their characters. Improvised dialogue and blocking was encouraged, and we even sought their input in costume design."

Set against an intimate portrayal of Melbourne, Pretty Good Friends is a raw rendering of three twenty-something"s on a journey of self-definition.

Jules (Jenni Townsend) moves home to Melbourne with the hopes of re-inventing herself in time for her 25th birthday. She moves in with her childhood friend, Sam (Rain Fuller), and Sam"s long-term boyfriend Alex (Nathan Barillaro). Juggling the rekindling of an old friendship while an exciting new one emerges tests the boundaries of friendship and puts Jules in a dangerous position.

Winner of Best International Feature at the Starlite Film Festival 2015, Pretty Good Friends also won Best Feature Film at Made in Melbourne Film Festival 2015. The indie feature also screened as part of the Going Green Film Festival via VOD service Roku, to a potential 8 million viewers throughout North America.

Jenni Townsend is writer-director-actor of her own feature film The Pull, shot in Glasgow, Scotland. The film won Best Foreign Feature at Toronto"s Female Eye Film Festival.

"Pretty Good Friends finally gives audiences an accurate representation of the beautiful city of Melbourne and the young people living and struggling in it. It shows us people who remind us of ourselves or our friends or our siblings - real people with complex problems we can relate to," says Jenni.

Rain Fuller (Neighbours, The Legend of Ben Hall) co-created and stars in the comedy web series Two Refugees and a Blonde, and has just been announced as a presenter for Ozflix, the new streaming service for Australian film launching on Australia Day 2017.

"With my character Sam on the receiving end of a potential "emotional affair", it got me thinking about how there aren"t really common values surrounding it, when there are so many for a physical affair. So it makes it very tricky to answer: at what point do you deem it to be an affair?" says Rain.

"I love the quirkier corners of Melbourne Pretty Good Friends showcases - like the $2 / Barber shop and the horror room in the local DVD store."

Nathan Barillaro co-wrote Pretty Good Friends and wrote, directed and starred in his own feature Metaffliction, released globally via, a curated VOD site for quality independent films, acclaimed by The New Yorker and The Wall St. Journal.

"Pretty Good Friends is an enjoyable and unpretentious example of contemporary micro-budget Australian cinema. I love that it was made with a bare-bones crew and shot with minimal technical resources," says Nathan.

Cinematographer Tom Swinburn shot Pretty Good Friends using a handheld camera, with a fly-on-the-wall, cinema verite style of filmmaking. Tom holds an MA in Film & TV from Victorian College of the Arts (Most Bold and Innovative Award) and his directorial debut, Islands Apart, is due to be released later this year.

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