Special Guests Sunday 24 September, The Darwin International Film Festival
Special Guests Sunday 24 September
Hugo Weaving has had an enormously varied and successful career in film, theatre, and television. He has won numerous awards, including three Australian Film Institute awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in, Jocelyn Moorhouse’s Proof (1991), The Interview (1998), which he also won Best Actor at The Montreal World Film Festival, and Little Fish (2005).
In 2011 he was an inaugural AACTA award winner for his performance in Oranges and Sunshine and in 2015 he won his second AACTA award for The Dressmaker. In the following two years he took home the AACTAs for his work in Hacksaw Ridge (2016), and Jasper Jones in 2017.
Weaving’s career has been expansive. He has taken on some beloved and iconic roles. Roles in The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy, as Elrond in The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies, and as ‘V’ in V For Vendetta.
His other films include Last Ride, Captain America, Cloud Atlas, Mystery Road, The Mule, Strangerland, Hearts And Bones, Measure For Measure and most recently Lone Wolf. He has also voiced characters in several highly successful films including Babe, Happy Feet and Transformers. Hugo’s television credits include Patrick Melrose, Rake, Seven Types Of Ambiguity and most recently in the series Love Me season 1 & 2 for Binge and the Apple Tv series Slow Horses.
His many theatre appearances include Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Arturo Ui, Hedda Gabler, Uncle Vanya, Macbeth, Endgame, Waiting For Godot, The Visit for the Royal National Theatre London and mostrecently Wonnangatta for Sydney Theatre Company.
MahVeen is an award-winning producer. Originally from Iran, MahVeen soon found her home within the Australian film industry with her strong eye for identifying compelling stories and marketplace, linking gifted individuals to launch original work.
Mark Leonard Winter
From the Writer
In the winter of 2019 the lights dimmed for me. Dealing with the fall out of some devastating personal events and finding myself isolated at my house in the country, I suddenly couldn’t see a place for myself in this world. I had lost hope. I was struck that in this time of crisis when I was most in need of help I felt unworthy of it. Talking to someone about my problems felt impossible and I felt completely alone. There are so many people who feel this, and it is particularly difficult, culturally, for men to acknowledge and communicate feelings of dread and despair. This personal nightmare feels like a distant memory now but many in my circle have not been so fortunate.
So, how can I as an artist create something of meaning from this experience? And is it possible to make a work about mental health that any audience in their right mind would want to watch? It is a huge journey getting a film into the world and you are constantly asking yourself, ‘Is this of worth?’.
It was a shock to me that when people would ask what I was working on and I explained what the film was about, they would often open up about their experiences with their own battles. These were mostly men who would not usually feel comfortable to talk about this, but I guess that is what art has the capacity to do; open a conversation. Their stories of struggle kept me working and helped to remind me that there is something of worth in this endeavour.
This film is a creative offering exploring what it feels like to be caught in that frightening, surreal, quiet place. I wanted to write and make something that could not only look suicide and depression square in the eye but also find the humour, ridiculousness and absurdity so inherent in that struggle. Depicting a rich friendship developing between these men and the profound impact it has on their lives was important to me. I also wanted to look at a different kind of masculinity. We are very accustomed in Australia to seeing films exploring a maleness that is often toxic. Drugs, crime and an appetite for unpleasantness are common to our onscreen ‘heroes’. Whilst I enjoy those films I actually don’t know too many men like that. The men in this film I know a lot of. I hope this film depicts a different, and no less legitimate, side to masculinity. I want this film to acknowledge that sometimes just making it through another day is an extraordinary act of courage.