by Matthew Eeles
As far as Australian feature films go, you could never accuse Sunset People of having an ordinary concept.
A modern-day Australian thriller with an 80’s inspired edge, set in a dream-like, sinister world that revolves around burlesque, drugs, sex, and… blood addicts?
“Our Vampires do not have fangs or turn into bats,” Sunset People director James Demitri told Cinema Australia. “They are part of everyday life, and the way they feed is by seducing and drugging their victims before slicing them with a razor. It’s very gritty and real which makes it even more sinister, because it strips back the glossy fun factor of the supernatural and the fangs which makes it feel more like it could possibly happen in real life, so it unsettles you.”
Sunset People follows a relocated set of siblings, burlesque performer Lana (Marigold Pazar) and her sexually fluid, fun-loving brother Sebastian (Hayden Maher) hoping to leave their dark secrets in the shadows of their past.
Inspired by monster and slasher films from all eras of cinema, Sunset People is a direct representation of the kind of films its director wants to see at the cinema today. “It isn’t a blockbuster therefore it inst what you would typically see in a Hollywood film,” Demitri said. “It has interesting twists and turns and complications and it’s layered and textured and unexpected. I wanted to take the theme of “vampires” and do something fresh and a little unusual with it, and although some of the characters are vampires the film is more about the relationships between all the main characters and how complicated and involved their lives become as the film unfolds.”
Funding an Australian feature film can be a challenge for even the most seasoned filmmakers, and even more of a challenge for a first-time filmmaker. “Australia has produced some great films, which have brought a lot of attention to Australian cinema and filmmakers, and I am hoping that Sunset People will create a cult following and shine some light of Australian independent cinema too,” said Demitri.
The film has now secured a handful of financial backer which has made the film possible, but to maximise the film’s potential a crowdfunding campaign has also been launched to raise more funds. “We’re also looking for any additional philanthropists who would like to back our project to help make this film the best it can be. It really is more than what you would expect in a genre film, because all the characters are so rich, so you do really care for them and what happens to them. The film has a lot of heart.”
Excited yet? Wait until you see the incredible concept trailer and ultra-cool poster (below). “Both the trailer and poster have sparked off such a fantastic response from the international community, and there are already several alternative posters for the film floating around which is just incredible and very exciting!”