Filmmaker Joshua Scattergood prepping new feature film, Homo Ignarus

Joshua Scattergood.

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by Matthew Eeles

Joshua Scattergood has announced his new feature film, Homo Ignarus, which he will produce under his recently-launched production company, Prodigy Films.

The 23-year-old Western Australia filmmaker studied at SAE Institute, before departing the creative media academy to get a head start on his filmmaker career.

“I learned so much during my time at SAE, as well as studying film and writing narratives in my own time,” Scattergood tells Cinema Australia.

“I felt I had learned enough, and the physical classroom was not scratching my creative itch, so I left to focus on directing my first, 45-minute feature film, A Tale From the Book of Christmas.”

From development to the film’s world premiere in Perth, Scattergood spent six months on A Tale From the Book of Christmas which follows three main characters dealing with past tragedies and their own inner-demons while struggling to plan Christmas festivities for their children.

“We were thrilled to have over 200 people attend the premiere of A Tale From the Book of Christmas,” says Scattergood.

“The film wasn’t perfect, but there were a lot of positive aspects to it also. I learned so much while making that film.”

Scattergood was quick to move onto his next film – a six-minute short called Leash, which has been accepted into various festivals around the world.

Homo Ignarus concept artwork by Casey Thornton.

Scattergood has high hopes of producing multiple feature films under Prodigy Films, beginning with Homo Ignarus.

“With Prodigy Films, our aim is to bring artistic integrity to Australian cinema,” says Scattergood.

“I love filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Kubrick, Michael Haneke, Lars von Trier, Ingmar Bergman, Wes Anderson and Coppola. Filmmakers who are writing interesting, creative and unique narratives using unprecedented filmmaking techniques and cinematography. That’s what inspires me and excite me.”

Scattergood has been working on Homo Ignarus since November last year.

Set in 1999, Homo Ignarus follows Ava and Maria – two sisters who disagree on the existence of God.

When a local seer predicts an apocalypse, Ava begins searching for proof of God’s existence in an attempt to encourage the sceptical Maria back to the church.

“I think films should either strongly challenge a particular intellectual idea, or elicit any number of strong emotions from an audience,” says Stcattergood.

“Films that either challenge my beliefs, add a new perspective to a way of looking at something, or elicit an intense, vast spectrum of emotions are the films that I enjoy most. This is also how I want to write.”

Before work begins on Homo Ignarus, Scattergood will make a short, proof-of-concept version of the film which will begin shooting in Perth this September.

“We want to make this to show potential investors and audiences what we’re capable of.”

Homo Ignarus will be produced by Perth-based filmmaker Aron Attiwell who is currently making noise with his own proof-of-concept short, Fading Numbers. The film will be co-produced by Josiah Dunjey who recently produced the impressive short film, A Gift of Years.

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