Sydney Film Festival today announced filmmaker Abe Forsythe’s second feature film, Down Under, will have its World Premiere when it screens within the ‘Special Presentation’ section of the 2016 festival program.
A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, Down Under is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide. Sincere, though misguided, intent gives way to farcical ineptitude as this hilarious yet poignant story of ignorance, fear and kebab-cravings unfolds, and what was meant to be a retaliation mission turns into something neither side could have imagined.
The official selection of Down Under was announced as part of the launch of the full Sydney Film Festival 2016 program at Sydney’s Customs House this morning. Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said, “In typical Australian fashion, the blackest of black comedy has been used in Down Under to explore one of the most disturbing and shocking events in recent Australian history – the Cronulla Riots.” He continued, “In a deceptively clever way, it uses comedy and tragedy to tease out just what happened then, and will certainly provoke some heated discussions.”
Deliberately and unapologetically confronting racism head on, writer-director Abe Forsythe takes a balanced look at the ridiculous side of a serious subject, noting, “There is nothing more satisfying than getting people to laugh at something they feel like they shouldn’t be laughing at. Comedy is the best way to say something meaningful”. On the World Premiere and official selection of Down Under at the Sydney Film Festival, Forsythe responded, “It’s an honour for our film to be included in this year’s festival. It’s important for me that we’re premiering Down Under where it takes place. It’s a very Sydney story.”
Following the Sydney Film Festival, Down Under will release in cinemas in August 2016, distributed by STUDIOCANAL Australia.
Down Under stars Lincoln Younes (Hiding, Love Child Season 2), Rahel Romahn (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, The Combination), Damon Herriman (The Water Diviner, The Little Death, Justified), Michael Denkha (The Combination, Stealth), Fayssal Bazzi (Crownies, Cedar Boys), Alexander England (Gods Of Egypt, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story), Justin Rosniak (Animal Kingdom), Harriet Dyer (Love Child, Janet King) and introduces Christopher Bunton. It also features Josh McConville, Dylan Young, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Anthony Taufa along with Marshall Napier (The Water Horse, Babe) and David Field (Last Cab To Darwin, The Rover, Chopper).
Presented by Screen Australia, Down Under is a Wild Eddie Production, in association with El Guapo Films and Emu Creek Pictures, produced in conjunction with STUDIOCANAL. Written and directed by Abe Forsythe, produced by Jodi Matterson and executive produced by Greg McLean.