See the new trailer for Del Kathryn Barton’s wildly imaginative Blaze

Julia Savage in Blaze.

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The mesmerising directorial feature debut from fine artist, Del Kathryn Barton, Blaze tells the story of a teenager who processes her trauma by ascending into a fantasy world Barton has created by combining a unique and visionary blend of live action, puppetry and animation.

 The inspiration for Del’s feature debut came from a news headline on the radio that made the world stand still for her, hearing that one woman a week, on average, is murdered by a current or former partner in Australia. Moved to respond to the horrifying reality of that statistic, Del embarked on a journey to create Blaze – interweaving a myriad of artistic practices, pushing the boundaries of her visual language and mining the depths of her lived experience, together with collaborators who shared her desire to craft a film about the inestimable healing power of the imaginary life.

Del is an acclaimed Australian contemporary artist known for her otherworldly, ethereal images, which have twice won the Archibald prize. She has directed two short films, The Nightingale and the Rose (2015), starring Mia Wasikowska and Geoffrey Rush, and Red (2017), starring Cate Blanchett.

To bring her vision of Blaze to life, Del and the filmmaking team brought together a stellar cast including; Simon Baker (The Mentalist), Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black), and incredible new talent, Julia Savage as Blaze.


The film tells the story of Blaze, a young teenager, who is the sole witness to a woman being violently attacked. Left catatonic with shock, she struggles to make sense of what she saw. She retreats into imaginary worlds, where the shimmering magic dragon who has been her companion since childhood, allows her to activate her own rage and ultimately find renewal. And while her world is turned upside down, she is finally able to walk into the future unafraid. Blaze is an ode to female courage and a celebration of the power of the imagination.

A Causeway Films production, Blaze is also written by Del, together with Huna Amweero (Jade of Death). It is produced by Samantha Jennings (Buoyancy, Cargo, You Won’t Be Alone) and executive produced by Kristina Ceyton (The Nightingale, The Babadook, You Won’t Be Alone) for Causeway Films, with executive producers Deanne Weir, Daniel Besen, Chris Plater, Simon Baker, Samantha Meers, Jonathan Page and Boris Tosic. BLAZE was produced with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW, Fin Design and Spectrum Films. MK2 Films are handling international sales.

Blaze had its World Premiere in Official Competition at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, and its Australian Premiere In Competition at the Sydney Film Festival. It will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival next month.

Blaze will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival from August 16. Bonsai Films will release Blaze in Australian cinemas on AUGUST 25. With the exception of WA, where it will release on September 1.



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