Focus on Flickerfest: Stranger

Cinema Australia Original Content:

Georgia Wilkinson-Derums in Stranger.

So, what’s it about? A charming yet guarded (and mostly shirtless) wanderer drifts confidently through a bar and motel of an Australian outback mining town until he finds himself questioning his own identity, after making a real connection with a damaged motel maid.

Sounds edgy. Who made it? Peter Skinner directed and wrote the film. Skinner has only made one other short film called How Strange, Innocence. Going by the quality of this film and the praise it has received on the festival circuit, we may see Skinner helm a feature film in the near future. The film’s leading man, Joel Jackson, also produced the film along with Holly Fraser, a brilliant young actress and producer who starred in the festival smash, Waltzing Tilda, one of the best Australian short films ever made.

Wow! Is Holly in the film too? She’s not, but the cast is really exciting. Along with Jackson, Stranger stars Georgie Parker who has the dramatic range to pull this off comfortably. Parker is an actor we’d love to see more of in film. Jack Ellis plays Jono in the film who has three upcoming feature films in the works including Genna Chanelle Hayes’ Akoni and David O’Brien’s A Blow to the Head. Balancing the cast out is Georgia Wilkinson-Derums who has just wrapped on the upcoming Perth-shot feature film Bassendream.

Joel Jackson is a big deal. Has he said much about the film? Jackson’s performance in Greg McLean’s Jungle cemented him as one of Australia’s best actors, even if he doesn’t always get the best opportunities to showcase his talent. During the press tour for Jungle Jackson told Cinema Australia: “One of my favourite writers is Sam Shepard and the world that he created with Paris, Texas and growing up in the bush and being around that sense of isolation but also that sense of wonder that comes around from those worlds and the lyricism that you get from the people who are silent. My buddy and I created this character known as The Stranger and it follows this mysterious wanderer as he drifts through an outback Australian hotel. Something changes within him and he has an unexpected conversation with one of the hotel maids. We were very ambitious with the film and I’m being vague because there are so many hidden gems within this film that we intentionally keep information away from people so that when they watch it they’re surprised. We’re very proud of it and we wanted to create something that was very much an Australian picture but also doing something that was very cinematic and European which would have an international appeal.”

Sold! Where’s it showing? The 19 minute short film can be seen at Flickerfest on Sunday, 13 January at 4.30pm as part of the Best of Australian program. You can find more details here.

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