Lucky Miles (2007) - News Poster



Ali’s Wedding to have world premiere at Aff mini-fest

Ali's Wedding.

Tiding audiences over until the official event returns in 2017, Adelaide Film Festival will run a mini-festival this October.

Known as Adelaide Film Festival Goes Rogue, the mini-fest will run October 27 — 30 and feature premieres, in-conversation events and a retrospective screening of Michael James Rowland's Lucky Miles..

Jeffrey Walker.s feature debut Ali.s Wedding. is set for its world premiere at the event. Australia.s first Muslim rom-com, the film is based on the life of actor, writer and comedian Osamah Sami, who also co-wrote the screenplay and stars as the titular character. There will also be a .work in progress. premiere screening of David Stratton.s Stories of Australian Cinema.

Festivities will also include the Australian premiere season of Lynette Wallworth.s Vr film Collisons (Oct 5 — 30), and a free talk by Greg Mackie, last year's Jim Bettison and Helen James Award recipient, at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas.
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Berlin: Memento’s Artscope Acquires Berlin Generation 14plus Opener ‘Girl Asleep’ (Exclusive)

Berlin: Memento’s Artscope Acquires Berlin Generation 14plus Opener ‘Girl Asleep’ (Exclusive)
Artscope, Paris-based Memento Film Intl.’s new talent label, has acquired international sales rights to “Girl Asleep,” the Australian rites-of-passage fantasy drama that opens Berlin’s 2016 Generation 14plus, one of the festival’s biggest sidebars.

The first feature of Rosemary Myers, the artistic director of Adelaide’s Windmill Theatre, comedy-laced “Girl Asleep” hits Berlin with a good buzz off its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival where its screenings were the fastest selling film in the festival’s 13-year-old history. “Girl Asleep” went on to win the Aff’s 2015 Foxtel Movies Audience Award.

Set in a vintage brown-and-yellow ‘70s Australia of flared trousers, laden timber décor and eye-popping colored wallpaper, “Girl Asleep” plumbs the contradictory, wrenching and often downright excruciating daily and fantasy life of near-15 Greta Driscoll, kicking off with her first day at a new school, befriended by the class nerd and picked upon by the school bitches.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

52 Tuesdays duo reunites for Girl Asleep

Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Imogen Archer, who made their debuts in Sophie Hyde.s 52 Tuesdays, have been cast in Windmill Theatre.s first feature, coming-of-age drama Girl Asleep.

Based on Matthew Whittet.s play which premiered at the 2014 Adelaide Festival, the film follows the chronically shy Greta Driscoll (Bethany Whitmore), whose 15th birthday party is spoilt when an uninvited guest steals her most treasured possession. Her attempts to retrieve it take her into a dark unknown world.

Whittet wrote the screenplay, the director is Rosemary Myers, who staged the play, and the producer is Jo Dyer (Lucky Miles; Boy Castaways). The four‐week shoot starts on January 19.

The investors are the South Australian Film Corporation, the Ian Potter Foundation and the Hive Production Fund, a collaboration between the Adelaide Film Festival, the Australia Council for the Arts, Screen Australia and ABC Arts.

The cast includes Harrison Feldman, Eamon Farren, Whittet, Amber McMahon
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Aussie Don Hany Nabs Male Lead In ABC Drama ‘Warriors’ As Overseas Actors Eye Another Strong Pilot Season

Don Hany, an established Australian TV actor who is virtually unknown in the U.S., has been tapped as the male lead in ABC’s medical drama pilot Warriors, from writer Chris Keyser, Mandeville TV and ABC Studios. Inspired by the Walter Reed Military Medical Center, Warriors follow the best and brightest active-duty military doctors and nurses as they practice trailblazing medicine. Hany will play trauma surgeon George Mann, who can’t stop taking care of these men, though it nearly breaks his heart, every day. This marks the first major Hollywood gig for Hany, who doesn’t have U.S. representation yet. He is well known in Australia, where he has a long list of TV and film credits, including series White Collar Blue and film Lucky Miles. He is getting strong early reviews for his starring role in Craig Monahan’s feature Healing. Repped in Australia by Shanahan Management.
See full article at Deadline TV »

Page and Myers get funding for first features

Continuing their collaboration after Tim Winton.s The Turning, producer Robert Connolly and Indigenous director/choreographer Stephen Page will bring to the big screen an adaptation of Page.s dance theatre work Spear.

That.s one of two films commissioned by the second Hive Fund, an initiative of the Adelaide Film Festival in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts, Screen Australia and ABC Arts.

The other is Girl Asleep, the third in a trilogy of rites-of-passage Windmill Theatre stories by writer Matthew Whittet and director Rosemary Myers.

Page, the Bangarra Dance Theatre director and choreographer, directed one segment of The Turning. His feature directing debut, Spear is a contemporary hybrid feature film where two Aboriginal clans from urban and remote communities live in an apocalyptic world and must decide who will be the new leader for the next 100 years. The work will explore what this means to Indigenous men through dance,
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Cast Is King In Devil's Dust Trailer

How do you make a true life story about litigation against a big cement manufacturer appealing to general audiences? You cast the hell out of it. This is exactly what the makers of Devil's Dust, the story of the James Hardie asbestos scandal and court case have done, and the results look superb. Anthony Hayes (The Square) leads the cast as Bernie Banton, the campaigner who became the public face of the political and legal campaign to achieve compensation for the sufferers of asbestos-related conditions, which they contracted after working for the company James Hardie. Other lead cast include Dony Hany (Rake, Lucky Miles), Daniel Henshall (Snowtown, These Final Hours), Ewen Leslie (Mabo, Dead Europe), Mirrah Foulkes (Animal Kingdom), Henry Nixon (Noise), David Roberts (The Square), Alexandra Schepisi (The Eye of the Storm) and the always-great character actor Alan...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

SPAAmart film applications now open

Applications are now open for the 10th annual film market SPAAmart, put on by the Screen Producers Association of Australia.

The announcement:

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (Spaa) today announced that applications are now open for the 10th annual feature film market, SPAAmart 2012, which will take place during the annual Spaa Conference in November.

SPAAmart is calling for distinct feature film projects at an advanced stage of development with significant attachments, and ready to present to the market for financing, sales and distribution.

SPAAmart was launched in 2003 with the aim of bringing the best Australasian feature projects to the attention of local and international financiers. Films that have previously participated in SPAAmart as a launching pad include Clubland, West, Noise, The Home Song Stories, Lucky Miles, Romulus My Father, The Last Ride, Beautiful Kate, The Cedar Boys and most recently Beneath Hill 60 and Mei Mei.

As with previous years,
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Oranges and Sunshine’s Dany Cooper wins best editing at the Ellies

Cooper is stamped by the Ellie as is tradition to accept her award

Dany Cooper Ase has won best editing in a feature film for her work on Oranges and Sunshine at the Australian Screen Editors Awards.

Nicknamed The Ellies, the awards were held last night at the Vanguard in Newtown, Sydney, hosted by actor comedian Rob Carlton (Underbelly, Paper Giants).

In addition to the awards, each year the guild gives accreditation to editors whose work is considered of a consistently high standard.

This year the guild accredited Scott Gray Ase (Somersault, Solo, The Boys are Back), Matt Villa Ase (The Great Gatsby, Happy Feet 2, I-Robot) and Sue Schweikert Ase (commercials Axa’s Crocodile Tears, McDonalds’ James Dean and Australian Tourism Commission).

Henry Dangar Ase (Winter of our Dreams, The Crossing, Spider and Rose, Lucky Miles Rake, Kiss or Kill) received lifetime membership to the guild.

Guild president Jason Ballantine
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Hive Production Fund invests in three art films

The art film related Hive Production Fund has announced its first films to receive funding.

The Hive Production Fund was launched in February. The aim of the fund is for filmmakers and artists work on single art film projects.

The fund has received significant support. Originally set up between the ABC and Adelaide Film Festival, each contributing $200,000. The Australia Council came on board in July also donating $200,000.

An additional $70,000 has been committed by the Adelaide Film Festival through its Film Investment Fund.

Director of the Adelaide Film Festival Katrina Sedgwick said: “It is important the silos get broken down between film and the rest of the arts. The calibre of these projects and collaborators illustrate the potential for ground-breaking new work to be created for the screen when we facilitate new conversations between diverse practitioners and offer different funding avenues to enable these cross-pollinations.

Three quite different productions have received
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Tangle Season 3 begins filming

Monday sees critically acclaimed Showcase drama Tangle begin filming in Melbourne.

Returning with it’s fantastic line-up of cast members; Justine Clarke, Catherine McClements, Matt Day, Lincoln Younes, Blake Davis, Kick Curry and Kat Stewart, the series will continue to explore the intertwining relationships between two generations of family.

Tangle is produced by John Edwards and Imogen Banks for Southern Star with Executive Producer Kim Vecera, who called it one of their ‘a landmark series’ when speaking with Encore about Cloudstreet, recently.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer of Showtime Australia, Mr Peter Rose said, “After the immense success of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet, we are thrilled to continue our commitment of commissioning world-class Australian drama.”

Written by Fiona Seres and Tony McNamara and to be directed by Emma Freeman (Love My Way, Hawke, Offspring) and Michael James Rowland (Spirited, Lucky Miles), Tangle is being produced with investment by Austar.
See full article at Encore Magazine »

In the Raw becomes stand-alone event

The Dungog Film Festival has partnered with Sydney Theatre to expand its script reading program In The Raw to Sydney.

In the Raw has been expanded to a stand-alone event, held bi-monthly and commencing on February 7.

In The Raw is a program where actors read unproduced screenplays in front of a live audience, offering filmmakers a chance to get their works heard by key industry players and tested with their intended audience. Projects like Pauline Chan’s screenplay Mei Mei (currently in post-production) graduated from In the Raw.

“Having hosted the premieres of such great Australian films as Lucky Miles, Romulus My Father and Men’s Group, Sydney Theatre has long been a friend of the Australian film industry and sees this partnership as an important development in this deepening relationship,” said Sydney Theatre executive producer Jo Dyer.

Tickets can be reserved online, by phone or in person at the Sydney Theatre box office.
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Parker/Tass project chosen for SPAAmart

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (Spaa) has announced the feature film projects that will participate at this year’s SPAAmart sessions during the organisation’s conference next month.

The list includes, amongst projects from emerging filmmakers, a romantic comedy by the Nadia Tass/David Parker team.

The selected projects are:

1. The Badadook

Kristina Ceyton, Producer.

Jennifer Kent, Writer/Director.

2. The Rocket

Sylvia Wilczynski, Producer.

Kim Mordaunt, Writer/Director.

3. The Witness Tree

Delia Churchill, Producer.

Alex Chomicz, Director.

Jacqueline Cook, Writer

4. The Warmth

Philippa Campey, Producer.

Rhys Graham, Writer/Director.

5. The Winter Chill

Samantha Jennings, Producer.

Justin Kurzel, Director.

Giula Sandler, Writer

6. Tying The Knot

David Parker, Writer/Producer.

Nadia Tass, Director.

7. Far From Home

Andrea Buck, Producer.

Dee McLachlan, Director.

Peter Lancucki, Writer.

SPAAmart was launched in 2003 with the aim of bringing the best Australasian feature projects to the attention of local and international financiers. Its success stories include include Clubland,
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Reality TV Turns Terrorist In Eliminated!

Seems Chris Morris doesn't have a corner on the market for terrorism comedies this year.  No, the creators of very serious minded Australian thriller The Jammed have just taken a turn towards the low-brow and launched production on their terrorism / reality TV spoof Eliminated.  Here's the first official word:

After winning over critics and audiences in 2007 with acclaimed box office breakout hit The Jammed, the same team is back with a new film, Eliminated, which commenced shooting in Melbourne this week.

Written and directed by Dee McLachlan and produced by Andrea Buck from film production company The Picture Tank, Eliminated is a politically incorrect comedy about two of Australia's major obsessions, terrorism and reality television.

In Eliminated, a panel of guerilla judges selects and tests an eager and diverse group of young contestants to see who will take out the crown of 'master terrorist'. Subjected to various challenges, interrogations and torture,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Green Lantern Screen Test - Tom Kalmaku

Kenneth Moraleda of the Australian comedy/drama "Lucky Miles" does a screen test for the role of Hal Jordan's side kick Tom Kalmaku. In the first draft of The Green Lantern script, which was leaked last year, the character served as comic relief. In this screen test footage Moraleda gives us two takes of Tom Kalmaku, one serious, the other comedic. The video was submitted to Green Lantern's casting director Pam Dixon.
See full article at ComicBookMovie »

'Dharm,' 'Miles' share First Films prize

'Dharm,' 'Miles' share First Films prize
SINGAPORE -- The Third Asian Festival of First Films tapped two productions for its best film award Monday night, jointly awarding the prize to India's "Dharm" and Australia's "Lucky Miles".

Director Bhavna Talwar's "Dharm" is about a devout Hindu priest who unknowingly adopts a young Muslim boy and the consequences that engenders. "Lucky Miles", Michael James Rowland's bittersweet comedy about the plight of illegal immigrants in Australia, also garnered the best producer award for Jo and Lesley Dyer.

The festival's directing nod went to Kabir Khan for his film "Kabul Express", also from India, about two Indian journalists in search of the ultimate news scoop in Afghanistan: meeting the Taliban. "Kabul Express" also scooped the Foreign Correspondents Assn. Purple Orchid Award.

The best male actor award went to Batzul Khayankhyarvaa for his role in "Khadak", as a young Mongolian nomad confronted with his destiny to become a shaman, while the award for top female performance went to India's Mamatha Bhukya for her role in "Vanaja" as a young girl who dreams of escaping her poverty through dancing but faces sexual abuse from her employer's son.

'Home Song' dominates Inside Film awards

'Home Song' dominates Inside Film awards
SYDNEY -- The Australian film and TV awards season kicked off Wednesday with the announcement of nominations for the annual Inside Film awards, with the Australia -Singapore co-production Home Song Stories dominating the 2007 lineup.

Tony Ayres' semi-autobiographical film about a Chinese singer and her family who settle in Australia in the '70s picked up nine total noms, including best feature film, best director, best actor (Joel Lok) and best actress (Joan Chen).

The IF Awards are considered the people's choice awards, voted by readers of Inside Film magazine, although the awards for best director, best editing, best production design and best sound are voted on by industry professionals in each craft category.

Also vying for best picture are Dee McLachlan's independently-financed and produced thriller The Jammed, about the sex slave trade in underground Melbourne, which was nominated in a total of six categories, and Michael James Rowland's gentle comedy about Iranian and Cambodian refugees, Lucky Miles, which received five nominations.

Lucky Miles

Lucky Miles
SYDNEY -- With his debut feature Lucky Miles, Michael James Rowland leaches the politics out of the prickly topic of illegal immigration and turns out an unexpectedly amiable comedy. The narrative -- which follows a motley crew of asylum seekers stumbling through the Outback -- lacks momentum, and the film falls short of the Gods Must Be Crazy-style mayhem for which it appears to be shooting. But its congeniality is disarming, and the themes are slyly conscience-pricking.

Inspired by a number of real-life events, Miles features a cast of unknowns, which, together with frequent subtitles, could limit accessibility upon its local release. It's already proven to be a festival favorite in Australia, and Cineclick Asia has picked it up for international distribution.

Setting the action in 1990, Rowland harks back to a time before the nation, or at least its government, seemed to lose any sense of compassion for the Third World refugees seeking sanctuary on its shores. It starts on a cheery note as a group of Cambodians and Iraqis wade ashore after being dropped off by Indonesian people-smugglers on a deserted stretch of coastline in Western Australia.

Their joy soon turns to despair as the boat chugs off. They crest the sand dunes to discover, instead of the promised bus stop to Perth, an abundance of what is referred to by locals as "bugger-all."

They splinter into two groups: Iraqis heading one way into nothingness, Cambodians the other. The Cambodians are quickly picked up by police after they stop at an isolated pub to ask directions, though a fateful trip to the outhouse means one, Arun (Kenneth Moraleda), escapes the roundup. Meanwhile, a bunch of laconic army reservists on border patrol have been dispatched to investigate a suspicious fishing boat in the area.

They pick up Arun's tracks but soon discover three sets of footprints: A couple of only slightly strained plot contrivances have thrown the Cambodian together with one of the Iraqis, a structural engineer named Youssif (Rodney Afif), and Ramelan (Srisacd Sacdpraseuth), the Indonesian boat owner's ne'er-do-well nephew.

The ill-matched trio unites around a single water bottle and shared survival instincts, though the two refugees wonder how much they can trust a man who sadly informs them that his mother died before he was born. Arun's sketchy map gives no sense of the unpopulated vastness that surrounds them and sends them off on an elliptical odyssey that sorely tests their uneasy alliance.

Underpinning the naive slapstick and droll verbal clashes is a deep seam of humanism that makes its point about tolerance of difference gently. Heated debate about national identity and the ethics of detention have no place in this comic fable, and neither do cultural stereotypes.

Discord is rooted in the need for survival in a strange and hostile environment. Even the army trackers seem motivated by a desire to save the skins of the bumbling trespassers.

Moraleda is particularly effective as the politely resolute Arun, dogged in his determination to reach Perth and the father he has never met. Afif gets great comic mileage out of a centerpiece scene involving a cobbled-together Jeep.

Indian composer Trilok Gurtu contributes a dramatic percussive score, while cinematographer Geoff Burton does a terrific job conveying the enormity of the brutally beautiful West Australian landscapes.


Cineclick Asia

Short of Easy


Director/co-producer: Michael James Rowland

Screenwriters: Helen Barnes, Michael James Rowland

Producers: Jo Dyer, Lesley Dyer

Executive producer: Michael Bourchier

Director of photography: Geoff Burton

Production designer: Pete Baxter

Music: Trilok Gurtu

Costume designer: Ruth de la Lande

Editor: Henry Dangar


Arun: Kenneth Moraleda

Youssif: Rodney Afif

Ramelan: Srisacd Sacdpraseuth

O'Shane: Glenn Shea

Greg: Don Hany

Tom: Sean Mununggurr

Muluk: Sawung Jabo

Abdu: Arif Hidayat

Running time -- 104 minutes

No MPAA rating

Film Finance Corp. adds 3 films to slate

Film Finance Corp. adds 3 films to slate
SYDNEY -- Australia's Film Finance Corp. has greenlighted three feature films, bringing the number of features it's backing this financial year to 16 -- its biggest slate ever. FFC chief executive Brian Rosen said Thursday that the booming slate is the result of additional funding the government agency received in last year's budget. An additional AUS$10 million ($7.4 million) was added to the agency's base funding of AUS$50 million ($37.5 million) during the next three years. The diverse new slate includes The Tender Hook, a 1920s film noir feature set in Jazz Age Sydney; Lucky Miles, a comedy set in the Australian desert about a Cambodian, an Indonesian and an Iraqi who become hopelessly lost; and Dr. Plonk, a black-and-white silent comedy from producer-writer-director Rolf de Heer.

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