Australian director Cate Shortland’s (Lore, Somersault) next feature film, a psychological thriller starring Teresa Palmer, starts filming at the Docklands Studio in Melbourne this week.
Based on Melanie Joosten’s book Berlin Syndrome, Shortland’s as yet untitled film was written by Shaun Grant, who co-wrote Justin Kurzel’s Snowtown. It sees Australia’s very own Teresa Palmer (Wish You Were Here, Kill Me Three Times), return to our shores to star alongside Max Riemelt (Sense8).
Shortland’s film tells the story of an Aussie photojournalist Clare (Palmer), who travels to Berlin and meets a charismatic local named Andi (Riemelt). Their attraction is instant, and after a day wandering the streets of Berlin together, a night of passion ensues. But what initially appears to be the start of a romance suddenly takes an unexpected and sinister turn when Clare wakes the following morning to discover Andi has left for work and locked her in his apartment. An easy mistake to make, of course, except Andi has no intention of letting her go again. Ever.
One of Australia’s most respected filmmakers, Shortland is best known for her award-winning films Lore (2012) and Somersault (2004). She has also received awards for her short films Joy and Flowergirl, and her writing credits on the TV Miniseries’ The Slap, Deadline Gallipoli and Devil’s Playground.
Of Shortland’s next feature film, Producer Polly Staniford said, “The film is a very dark love story that explores the complexities and psychology of a dangerous relationship. After three weeks of shooting on location in Berlin, it’s great to be home shooting the interiors in the controlled setting of the studio at Docklands.”
Shot in both Berlin and Melbourne, Shortland’s film will be produced by Aquarius Films, and distributed in Australia by Entertainment One.
Aquarius Films has three feature films currently in production: Lion, the $16 million debut feature from Top Of The Lake director Garth Davis starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman, which Aquarius is producing in association with Academy Award®-winning producers See-Saw Films (The Kings Speech); Cate Shortland’s untitled film; and the feature doc Roller Dreams, directed by expat Australian (and GIRLS editor) Kate Hickey, financed through Screen Australia’s Signature Documentary Fund. Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford founded Aquarius Films in 2008. Cecilia Ritchie, previously at Matchbox Pictures, started working at Aquarius Films in late 2013 and has recently joined as Company Director and Creative Partner.
Shortland’s film is financed by Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Memento Films International, eOne, Fulcrum Media Finance and DDP Studios.