Jub Clerc’s debut feature Sweet As has a brand new trailer

Shantae Barnes-Cowan in Sweet As.

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A brand new trailer has dropped for Jub Clerc’s anticipated debut feature film, Sweet As, ahead of the film’s upcoming screenings at MIFF and CinefestOZ.

Sweet As is the first Australian feature written and directed by a Western Australian Indigenous filmmaker, and was made possible thanks to Screenwest’s West Coast Visions initiative, the WA Screen Fund and Screen Australia’s First Nations Department.

The film will make its world premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) on 13 August, before heading home to make its WA premiere in Busselton at CinefestOZ on 26 August, where it will compete for the festival’s coveted $100,000 Film Prize. Jub and producer Liz Kearney will then take Sweet As to Canada, where it will make its international premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.

Described as The Breakfast Club meets the outback, Sweet As follows 16-year-old Murra, who is on the verge of self-destruction. That is, until her policeman uncle secures an unusual lifeline: a “photo-safari for at-risk kids”. Murra isn’t entirely convinced, but she soon joins cantankerous Kylie, uptight Sean, happy-go-lucky Elvis, and team leaders Fernando and Mitch on a transformative bus trip through the Pilbara. On the trail, the teens learn about fun, friendship and first crushes, as well as the forces of ‘reality’ that puncture the bubble of youth.

Shantae Barnes-Cowan (Total Control, Firebite) stars alongside First Nations actors Tasma Walton (Mystery Road, Cleverman), Mark Coles Smith (Mystery Road: Origin, Last Cab to Darwin), Ngaire Pigram (Mystery Road, Mad Bastards), Pedrea Jackson (Robbie Hood, Blueback) and Chilean-Cuban-Australian actor Carlos Sanson Jr (Bump) along with first time young actors Mikayla Levy and Andrew Wallace.

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“It’s a little bit surreal after 10 long joyous years, that we get to see Sweet As take its first steps out into the world with such a robust reception. I’m so proud and eternally grateful to everyone that came on board with open hearts to make this experience so special and memorable.” said Jub Clerc.

The coming-of-age story was written by Jub Clerc with Steve Rodgers and is based on Jub’s life growing up in the Pilbara region. Jub spent many years in theatre before moving into film and TV, working on Australian classics like Mad Bastards, Satellite Boy and Mystery Road Series 1. She then went on to direct two episodes of ABC’s The Heights Series 2, NITV documentary Struggling Songlines and a chapter of feature film The Turning, to name a few.

Most recently, Jub’s short form comedy drama series Warm Props was shortlisted for SBS, NITV and Screen Australia’s Digital Originals initiative, and last month Jub was announced as one of the series directors on ABC ME’s new children’s series Turn Up the Volume, currently in production.

Jub Clerc was the first Indigenous filmmaker recipient of Screenwest’s West Coast Visions initiative in 2018 and the first all-female creative team with producer Liz Kearney, with Sweet As receiving $750,000 production funding.

Sweet As will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival from Saturday, 13 August. Details here. 

WA audiences can catch Sweet As at CinefestOZ in Busselton on Friday, 26 August. Tickets available here. The screening will also be followed by an In Conversation Lunch with the filmmaking team at Yarri Bar and Restaurant on Saturday, 27 August.

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