Focus on Flickerfest: Stille Nacht

Cinema Australia Original Content:

Matilda Ridgeway and Belinda Giblin in Stille Nacht.

I think there’s a spelling mistake. Is it meant to be titled Still Yacht? Imbecile. Stille Nacht is German for Silent Night.

So no boats? 🤦🏻‍♂️There are no boats. This dramatic little short follows a rigid German-Australian mother, played by Belinda Giblin, who finds answers to generational secrets through her gay daughter when hard truths from both their pasts surface over a traditional tea ceremony one evening.

Belinda Giblin. That name sounds familiar? Giblin has appeared in a lot of popular Australian television over the years including Home and Away and Heartbreak High. Her most interesting (and slightly bizarre) role came courtesy of Sons and Daughters. How’s this for trivia: Giblin bears a strong resemblance to fellow Aussie actress Rowena Wallace. This led to her taking over Wallace’s famous role of Patricia Dunne in Sons and Daughters in 1984. Ironically, Wallace later returned to the show as Pamela, Patricia’s twin sister, playing opposite her old character!
Giblin’s decades worth of experience would have been very educational for young actor Matilda Ridgeway who stars opposite Giblin in Stille Nacht. Ridgeway is currently forging her own cinematic path with a handful of short films to her name and two feature films currently in post production, Disclosure and Marley, Someone.

Who’s navigating this ship? Stille Nacht is written by the very talented Charmaine Bingwa who was awarded the 2018 Heath Ledger Scholarship. Charmaine also received the 2018 Equity Atlantic Award and received a Sydney Theatre Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2017. If that’s not exciting enough, Bingwa also has a role in the upcoming Australian feature film Nekrotronic from the makers of Wyrmwood, Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner. First-time director Matthew R. Young directed Stille Nacht and also produces the film alongside Meg Ryan.

Meg Ry..!?! Not the Meg Ryan. Meg is another first-time filmmaker set to break into the Australian film industry.

Sounds like there’s whole bunch of upcoming talent involved. Very much so. Here’s some of what scribe Charmaine Bingwa had this to say about the film: “I am always an actor first and foremost, but the reason I started turning my talents to screenwriting is so more diverse stories can be told. I truly believe inclusion starts with the writing. The other pieces of the industry puzzle, like casting, then naturally follow suit. Looking at me, I don’t look like I’m a natural fit to tell a German-Australian story, but the empathy you learn to have as an actor helps put yourself in other people’s shoes. It’s encouraging to me that Matthew R. Young approached me with this story, but insisted I write it as he wanted to have someone from the LGBTI community tell it.” 

Stille Nacht is screening at Flickerfest. You can find more details here

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