Local Star Kya Stewart Takes the Stage in the Thrilling Fourth Season of World Monologue Games!

Once again, the global stage illuminates the realm of acting as World Monologue Games, the preeminent event of its kind, returns triumphantly for its highly anticipated fourth season. Among the outstanding talents selected for this year’s Regional Finals is Sydney’s own gifted actor, Kya Stewart, adding a local flair to this international showcase that brings together the finest performers from over 100 countries.

Unfazed by the industry disruptions, Kya courageously submitted an entry to the prestigious World Monologue Games, often dubbed the Olympics for Actors by the media. This spirited competition, spanning six distinct categories, sees thousands of international performers vying for a coveted spot on the podium.

Kya’s excitement upon being selected for the esteemed event’s Regional Finals is palpable. “Participating in this year’s World Monologue Games fills me with incredible excitement,” says Kya. “As I represent Australia, I’m joining a league of remarkable performers from around the world. The anticipation for my upcoming performance is electric.”

Initiated in 2020 by the visionary Australian producer Pete Malicki, World Monologue Games continues to grow from strength to strength. Looking ahead to this fourth season, Malicki says, “The calibre of submissions has soared, with judges noting a marked rise in quality. I’m eagerly awaiting the showcase of talents that the finest actors from numerous countries will bring to this year’s Games.”

Kya will be performing a captivating monologue about a distinct and touching personal memory she shares with her late Grandmother. Reflecting on the experience, Kya added, “I’m so excited to represent Australia in the games and to share a simple, yet meaningful, monologue about the power of love, human connection, and the way it shapes our lives”.

Tune in to the live stream of the Regional Finals where performers will compete for both cash prizes and the honour of gracing the podium at the Global Finals in November. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this unparalleled event:

From Screening Room to Script: Ronnie S. Riskalla’s Evolution as a Force In The Movie Industry

In the dynamic world of filmmaking, where creativity meets technology, few stories are as inspiring as that of Ronnie S. Riskalla. An acclaimed Screenwriter and Director, Riskalla’s journey began with a humble Betacam camera and blossomed into a career that has left an indelible mark on the global cinematic landscape. From his early years of producing films as a young child to his pivotal role in Hollywood’s entertainment juggernaut, Riskalla’s trajectory is a testament to passion, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence.

Riskalla’s passion for storytelling ignited during his formative years. Armed with only a Betacam camera, he embarked on a creative journey that would shape his destiny. Despite his young age, Riskalla showcased an innate talent for producing films, laying the foundation for what would become a remarkable career. His early experiences ignited a spark that would guide him through cinema’s challenging yet rewarding world.

Riskalla’s commitment to his craft led him to pursue formal education in film and drama. High School provided a platform for him to hone his skills, performing in talent shows, police youth clubs, and various school theatre productions. Following this, he attended a private film college, laying the groundwork for his artistic development.

The turning point came when Riskalla enrolled at The Australian Film, Television & Radio School. Here, he found his true calling behind the camera. The school nurtured his passion and equipped him with the technical and artistic prowess required to excel in the industry. Riskalla’s hunger for knowledge led him to further studies at UCLA, where he had the privilege of learning from Hollywood’s finest professionals.

Riskalla’s journey encompassed roles that spanned both the creative and technical aspects of cinema. His career as a Projectionist & Technical Manager in the cinema industry granted him unparalleled insights into the world of film exhibition. From the days of 35mm projectors to the digital projection age, Riskalla stood at the forefront of cinema’s evolution, running regular screenings and orchestrating special events that brought joy to Australian audiences.

Riskalla’s stint with Deluxe Entertainment, an American company deeply rooted in Hollywood history, was a testament to his seamless transition from the projection booth to behind the camera. His role involved overseeing the quality control and digital delivery of numerous Hollywood films across the Asia-Pacific region. This experience further refined his understanding of the cinematic craft and solidified his connection with the heart of the industry.

Riskalla’s creative spirit found a profound outlet with the experimental feature film “The Day Hollywood Died.” Premiering at the ECU Film Festival in Paris, the film showcased his artistic vision and marked his entry into the world of filmmaking in a different capacity.

In 2009, Riskalla founded Rising Pictures, a Film Production & Distribution company that sought to amplify innovative narratives. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to secure distribution rights for the ANZ and Pacific Islands for the feature film “Mooz-Lum,” starring Danny Glover and Nia Long. A tireless writer and director, Riskalla has diligently crafted seven feature film scripts, each a testament to his creative depth.

Riskalla’s latest venture, SkyCross Entertainment, reflects his unwavering commitment to storytelling. The upcoming release of his second feature film, “Streets of Colour,” underscores his dedication to addressing significant social issues through the lens of cinema.

FilmCentral magazine recently caught up with Riskalla to discuss his journey in the film industry, and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started in the industry?

I’ve loved the moving image since the age of 4; my parents would tell me stories of how I was attached to the TV and even learned how to record my favourite TV shows and movies like Superman and Star Wars in the early 80s.

Throughout my childhood, I watched everything, recorded everything, and used my dad’s Betamax video camera through my childhood making short films and stop animation.

In high school, I was the guy who carried a video camera everywhere I went. I filmed everything. I wasn’t an athlete. I was a film geek.

I went on to study film and video in high school, short courses at my local PCYC and then went to a private film school when I was 17. I was young.

At 17, I also started a job as an usher at Hoyts Cinemas Mt Druitt whilst juggling film school. I was mesmerised by film, and when I laid my eyes on the bio-box (projection booth) in the cinema – I had a vision – I had to be a projectionist.

I kept asking the complex manager, and they said I was too young. I had to be 18. At the time, a manager allowed me to go up and learn projection on an unpaid volunteer basis. Three hundred hours later, I could do everything as a casual projectionist. I immediately got a job and became the first 17-year-old projectionist.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Not having enough resources due to funding or other factors. For example, not being able to really realise my vision because we couldn’t get a specific location, couldn’t afford the right cars, or being able to have the VFX needed, etc. Trying to match the vision in my head to what’s on the screen is always challenging, but you try your best with what you have to get as close as possible to your vision.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to viewers what they want?

I think its a balance of trying to be original and having a unique voice; with a story such as this, I was careful to try and be authentic with the story because it’s loosely based on my experiences but also uses creative license to enhance ideas and make them original and stand-out. I think a writer/director must use his imagination to the fullest and try and use different angles. I believe I did this by creating an urban street film and mixing it with a subtle magical element using spirituality which gives it a touch of fantasy. 

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Make more films, create more, write more, spend more of your spare time learning the craft, and keep practicing and using those story-telling muscles.

What is your directing Kryptonite?

I don’t know if I have any, so to speak, but what I do believe is that I have the power of compelling storytelling, being able to move people through storytelling. I find that I walk away from films these days feeling nothing; it’s contrived, not compelling, not interesting, and they don’t evoke emotion. If I was to pick one thing – it’s evoking emotion using all the tools at my fingertips. I also have this innate intuition fuelled by knowledge. For example, I have been watching the Oscars since I was a child and consistently trying to seek out and watch the nominated films and then the ones that win.

Over the years, I made it a ritual to try and watch as many of the nominated films in the best film categories as possible, specifically in the acting categories. Every year I have a strike rate of 90 percent picking the winners because I take the time to watch the films and look at why they were chosen for that category. This year I almost got 95 percent, so I pride myself on constantly learning and studying films that help me understand what makes them great.

Tell us about why and how you came up with the story for your latest film, Streets of Colour.

I’ve always been a storyteller, making short films with my dad’s old clunky Betamax camera, so filmmaking is my passion, and telling stories is what I love to do. That’s the first thing.

Coming up with this story wasn’t hard. I was always planning to make a film about growing up in Western Sydney because I always thought it was underrepresented, and we faced many social issues growing up.  I was bullied as a kid and teen for being dark-skinned and not looking like an Anglo-Saxon, so this was a traumatic experience, but as we all do, we grow up, and I put that behind me.

But the catalyst was that it happened later in my life as an adult when I was abused with vulgar racial slurs, which brought up the past trauma to the surface again. 

I knew then that I had to write that into a story, and remembering what a great director once said, when you make a film as a writer, make a film about something you know and something authentic – so I did.

What do you hope the film will achieve?

I’m hoping it will do a few things, the film covers a few themes, and maybe I was being a little too ambitious with that.

Firstly, I want to spark a conversation on all types of racism, especially systemic racism, which can be used as a guise to stop people from different ethnicities from getting the opportunities they should. Secondly, I want people from different cultures to be able to embrace their beautiful culture and not run away from it like Tez in the film. 

Thirdly, I want people to think more about this physical world and day-to-day life and learn more about what’s beyond this world. 

I believe in a higher power, and no matter your beliefs or religion,  be proud of your belief and faith. 

I’ve had many magical things happen in my family that science can’t explain, so it set me on a path of learning and being open to knowing that God exists. 

I want people to experience it through the film and make them think about why we are all here.

Lastly, the film is about growing up in a low-socioeconomic suburb that the media has loved to destroy its reputation over the years. I want the people reading this to realise that the areas we grew up in as much have their fair share of trouble – they also have a vibrant culture full of some of the friendliest communities you will ever meet. The people are kind, humble, and some of the hardest working in the Blacktown council area. 

I’ve witnessed more kindness and humanity in Western Sydney than in any other area of Sydney. The generosity of people from “the area” is abundant, making the place great. 

People need to stop demonising the area for a small minority that makes it bad. I hope the film shows all facets; the good, the bad, and the ugly – an authentic portrayal. 

There are so many success stories that come out of the area. We have some of the most prominent artists coming out of Western Sydney, so I am here to say that no matter your adversities, you can conquer them. It doesn’t matter what your postcode is; you need to push harder.

What were some of the challenges and joys of making the film?

The challenges are always the long hours, and on top of that, having some health issues and a partial physical disability. Not being able to sleep much means your body and mind don’t repair, and in essence, the film suffers a little when you do that, as you’re not operating at your fullest.

Apart from that, it’s challenging for a director to have ten conversations simultaneously. It’s overwhelming having all these people ask what you want for makeup, camera, lighting, etc., and being able to give adequate time and respect to every person.

The joys of the film are the people you get to work with, being blessed to make a film based on your experiences, and sharing that with the world.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Learn your craft every single day. You must do one thing every single day that propels you forward. If you have a passion, there will be no excuses for getting this done, even if it’s five minutes towards bettering your craft.

What advice would you give to a newbie director who wants to make it in the industry?

Have passion, be enthusiastic, and don’t ever do it for the money because the money will come, and you will eventually have value.

If you’re telling a story, make sure that you at least evoke emotions – that means to make people laugh, cry, feel happy, scared, or anxious. You need to be able to make people walk away from a film feeling something. It doesn’t matter what it is – even getting your audience thoroughly entertained and excited is the key.

Your film doesn’t have to have a message, but it must make you feel something.

What are your future plans?

Currently touring with the film Australia-wide and attached to direct a movie next year, which hasn’t been greenlighted yet.

I’m also developing a true-crime TV series and two thriller/drama feature films as well as looking at a comedy feature film in the early development stage.

Unveil the Chilling Trailer and Poster for “A Haunting in Venice” by 20th Century Studios, Now Accessible!

Prepare to be immersed in an unsettling supernatural realm as 20th Century Studios presents the spine-tingling trailer and poster for “A Haunting in Venice,” an enigmatic and hair-raising thriller helmed by none other than Oscar® winner Kenneth Branagh. This cinematic masterpiece draws inspiration from Agatha Christie’s novel “Hallowe’en Party” and promises an unforgettable journey into the unknown. The film’s chilling narrative and remarkable cast are poised to captivate audiences when it exclusively graces Australian cinemas on September 14, 2023.

In “A Haunting in Venice,” the haunting allure of post-World War II Venice sets the stage for a truly hair-raising experience. As the moon casts an eerie glow on All Hallows’ Eve, the enigmatic Hercule Poirot, portrayed by Branagh himself, is thrust back into action. Having retired and sought refuge in the glamorous embrace of Venice, Poirot reluctantly finds himself drawn into a world shrouded in mystery and treachery. A seemingly innocent séance at a dilapidated, ghost-infested palazzo transforms into a sinister tableau, with shadows concealing malevolent secrets.

Branagh leads an exceptional ensemble cast that infuses life into a spectrum of unforgettable characters. Alongside him, stars like Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio, and Michelle Yeoh breathe authenticity into a narrative that promises to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The film marks a reunion of the brilliant minds responsible for “Murder on the Orient Express” (2017) and “Death on the Nile” (2022). Guided by the visionary eye of Kenneth Branagh, the movie unravels with a screenplay penned by Oscar® nominee Michael Green, based on Agatha Christie’s literary creation. As the layers of intrigue and suspense unfurl, the cinematic journey is meticulously curated to deliver an unparalleled cinematic experience.

The creative force behind “A Haunting in Venice” is a testament to the dedication of luminaries in the industry. Producers Kenneth Branagh, Judy Hofflund, Ridley Scott, and Simon Kinberg unite to bring this haunting tale to life, while executive producers Louise Killin, James Prichard, and Mark Gordon lend their expertise to ensure a cinematic triumph that will linger in your thoughts long after the credits roll.

Prepare to be spellbound as “A Haunting in Venice” takes you on a chilling odyssey through the shadows and secrets of a bygone era. The heart-stopping suspense, the impeccable acting, and the allure of Venice itself converge to create a cinematic experience that promises to be an unforgettable highlight of 2023.

Australia’s First Disney+ Original Series “Fearless: The Inside Story Of The AFLW” To Premiere August 24

Australia’s first locally commissioned content for Disney+, “Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW,” will premiere on the platform on 24 August 2022. “Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW” takes viewers on a raw and emotional journey into the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of the groundbreaking AFLW league. In this six-part series, we discover the courageous pioneers who were told they could never play Australian Rules football at the highest level and made it happen. From farmers to factory workers to paramedics, be amazed at the level of sacrifice and commitment required by this diverse group of athletes who are building an enduring legacy. The series spotlights four clubs – Adelaide Crows, Collingwood, GWS GIANTS, and Western Bulldogs – with access to the game’s inner sanctum, which is both confronting and inspiring. Cameras were rolling in April 2022, capturing the historic victory of the Adelaide Crows – taking their third AFLW premiership.  Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand, said: “Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW is the first of our nine Australian originals set to premiere this year and next. We’re thrilled to be bringing to Disney+ this world-first look at the AFLW and the powerhouse movement it has become for women in sport. The documentary celebrates the journey of trailblazing women – some of the first to play Australian Rules Football professionally. The documentary showcases extraordinary women who are paving the way for future generations and chasing football glory in their own unique ways.” Kylie Rogers, Executive General Manager Customer & Commercial, AFL, said: “Over the last six seasons of the NAB AFLW competition, our remarkable W players have captured the hearts and minds of footy fans all over the world with the pure joy and determination in which they approach their footy.  “The Disney+ team captures the essence of AFLW in Fearless – it’s a mixture of pure emotion, hard-hitting footy, and all the highs and lows that the world of football offers – and we get front-row seats to it all. We’re thrilled to have worked with the Disney+ team in bringing this documentary series to life.” Executive Producer Anne-Maree Sparkman said: “It is always magical and a true honour to be invited into the inner sanctum, but none of us could have dared hope for the rich rewards of this documentary series. “Following four teams over an entire season, we know everyone will be captivated by our footballers’ dedication, bravery, humour and raw emotions,” she added.  The Adelaide Crows are the benchmark of the competition. This team has already won two premierships and after a surprise grand final loss in 2021, are ready for redemption.  The Collingwood Magpies are one of Australia’s most powerful and successful sporting franchises, but so far, the women’s team has no silverware to show off.  The pressure is on for this talented team to go all the way, but a season ending injury to their biggest star is a shattering start to the new season. The Western Bulldogs is a young, fun, energetic club with a belief that they have the makings of a dynasty within their ranks.  Coached by AFL Hall of Famer, Nathan Burke, this team is all about the sisterhood both on and off the field, but this turns out to be a torrid season that will test their belief.   After being struck down by Covid, their fightback is uplifting, and their iconic victory celebrations are unforgettable. The Greater Western Sydney Giants are trying to win hearts and minds in an address that is dominated by the rugby league code. With champion recruits from the Gaelic football league in Ireland and cast offs from Victorian clubs, this team needs to bond and find a way to become winners. Still recovering from the tragic death of one of their teammates last year, this team is trying to turn despair into hope. “Fearless: the Inside Story of the AFLW” is produced by Jam TV and directed by Michael Venables (“MasterChef Australia”, “Australian Survivor”). Anne-Marie Sparkman (Executive Producer “Network Nine Wide World of Sports”, “Paramedics”, “Bondi Vet”) serves as executive producer, with Becky Taylor as series producer. “Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW” is the first of Disney+ Australia’s local production slate for 2022/23, featuring nine titles spanning  scripted drama, documentaries, lifestyle and factual entertainment genres. 

Film Spotlight: An Exclusive Look At “Over The Edge”

When Barbara Bingham and Enzo Tedeschi met on social media via a connection to a retro horror film, neither of them knew that within a couple of short years, this chance meeting would blossom into a fruitful working relationship with not one but two screen projects in which Enzo would bring together to direct Barbara opposite Australian Film Industry stalwart Nicholas Hope – two icons of cult cinema having starred in Friday 13th Part VIII and Bad Boy Bubby respectively.

A shared love of classic cinema soon saw Over The Edge evolve into a love letter of sorts to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and ultimately dedication to Barbara’s nephew Ian Bingham. He passed away from cancer soon after, encouraging her to revive her acting career.

A film about how appearances can be deceiving, Over The Edge, marks Enzo’s third collaboration with Nicholas Hope after Event Zero and the Shudder Original Series Deadhouse Dark.

FilmCentral magazine recently interviewed Barbara to discuss the movie, and here’s what went down:

What is the synopsis of the film?

After witnessing a terrible event, film composer Simone is dragged screaming out of her self-obsessed creative funk and into a situation that will put her very life in danger.

Who are your director and producer?

Director – Enzo Tedeschi

A versatile filmmaker, Enzo is recognised among his peers as a prolific and innovative Producer, Director, and Writer. Enzo is no stranger to darker stories, a self-confessed junkie of thriller and horror films like Vertigo and The Shining. In 2011, he wrote and produced the viral hit The Tunnel. In 2017 he produced and directed the now eerily prescient Event Zero and was most recently Showrunner of the Shudder Original Series Deadhouse Dark, which is streaming now on the Shudder platform. Enzo joined forces with Julian Harvey to make The Tunnel– a project whose innovative approach to funding and distribution saw it hit international cinema screens despite being crowdfunded and simultaneously given away online. The film garnered Enzo and Julian the Screen Producers Association of Australia Award for Breakthrough Independent Producers of The Year. Having spent much of his career as a Creator / Showrunner in the digital space, Enzo was also a creator of the science fiction series Airlock, as well as Producing several productions for the Blackpills mobile streaming platform, including Skinford, Skinford Chapter Two, and Pet Killer. His ongoing commitment to his work within the online space and community earned him The Michael Ajakwe Jr Lifetime Achievement Award from Melbourne WebFest in 2019

Producer – Rachelle Wiggins

Rachele Wiggins is an award-winning producer, writer, and director. Her work includes short films, series, and features, some seen by millions around the world. A recipient of the 2018 Enterprise People funding by Screen Australia, Rachele produced several projects with Deadhouse Films, including Nancy in Hell, Pet Killer, and the Shudder Original Series Deadhouse Dark. The anthology series had its World premiere at Canneseries in 2021. Rachele’s other projects include the feature film Beast No More, which won the Audience Award for Best Film at Monsterfest and is currently in US release; the epic sci-fi Blade Runner-inspired short film Slice Of Life, which won the Best Sci-Fi at LA Shorts; and the supernatural series The Surge, which she co-wrote and created. The series was selected for the Nashville Film Festival and HollyShorts screenwriting competitions in 2020. She is currently in post-production for her second Shudder original project as a segment director for an upcoming international anthology feature sequel. Rachele is currently in preparation to direct her first feature film, Wolf Creek 3, with producers Greg McLean, Bianca Martino, and Kristian Moliere.

Producer – Helen Tuck

Helen’s artistic background initially saw her focus on traditional art by studying drawing and painting at University. Still, her passion for makeup from a young age saw her become enamoured with the concept of working on a live canvas. This led her into the world of film, where she is usually found elbow deep in makeup, hair, and prosthetics, regularly working as a Hair & Makeup Designer for indie films, such as Sissy, Ruby’s Choice, and Moonrock for Monday, as well as on the team for larger films such as Thor: Love and Thunder and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. She also regularly works on TV series and was Makeup Designer for Amazon’s new comedy The Moth Effect, and on the Hair & Makeup teams for shows like Drunk History, Doctor Doctorand Cleverman. Helen has a deep love of filmmaking. In addition to her Hair & Makeup work, she has also worked in the production department for the online series Deadhouse Dark, which made its world premiere at Canneseries. She then went on to be a producer on the short film Over The Edge, directed by Enzo Tedeschi. She is currently in post-production on an international anthology feature film commissioned by Shudder, where she is the sole producer for her segment directed by Rachele Wiggins.

Who is your main cast?

Barbara Bingham – “Simone”

Barbara Bingham was born and raised in Hawaii, and her first TV credit was on the original Hawaii 5-0. She moved to LA, immersed herself in acting classes, and has spent the decades since working and refining her craft. Barbara’s film credits include lead roles in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Soldier’s Fortune, Cop Target, and Beyond Darkness. Television credits include the mini-series Space, movie-of-the-week Bridge Across Time, and appearances on highly popular television shows such as Knots Landing and The Colbys. Barbara has called Sydney home since 1996 and is a dual American-Australian citizen. 2019 brought roles in the Deadhouse Films series Deadhouse Dark and the Steve Jaggi Company romantic comedy Romance on the Menu. She wrote, executive-produced the same year, and starred in her first short film, Over the Edge, a Hitchcockian thriller currently touring the international film festival circuit.

Nicholas Hope – “Officer Blaze”

Following an introduction to live performance as a bass player in various bands in the Adelaide rock scene of the 1970’s and 80’s, Nicholas has acted for the past thirty years in film, television, and theatre around the world. His first film role as the lead in Rolf De Heer’s acclaimed Bad Boy Bubby won him the Australian Film Industry Award as Best Actor in a Feature Film. He has recently been seen as an ethereal doctor in Storm Ashwood’s debut feature The School, an aristocrat in Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, and a modern-day vampire in Erin Goode’s Jade of Death, for which he won Best Actor at the Denver Series-Fest 2018. He played the potential villain in Zanny Begg’s The Beehive, and will soon be seen in Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife, and Peter Duncan’s Fallout for the ABC. Nicholas also provides the invisible voice for Ambience Entertainment’s Random And Whacky Children’s Television series. Nicholas’s memoir Brushing the Tip of Fame was published in 2005, and he made his writer/director debut with the play Little Gods as part of the May Day Festival in 2013. He directed the sell-out production of Joel Drake Johnson’s Four Places for Outhouse Theatre in July 2014. He directed his own play Five Properties of Chainmale, for the Griffin Independent season in April 2015. He directed the short film Like Gold for The Hub Studios The Bench Series(2017) and produced Peter Hanlon’s The Reckoning of Christian Spencer, currently on the festival circuit. Nicholas was awarded a Ph.D. in Performance Studies in 2011.

What inspired the story?

I used to stand at my kitchen window, look out at an escarpment across the valley, and wonder what I would do if I saw someone pushed off the ledge.

How did it come about?

When my 32-year-old nephew, Ian, was dying of cancer, his last words to me were, “Auntie Barbara, it feels like your career is just starting again.” I cried, “Oh, from your lips, Ian!” He slid his head back on the pillow, closed his eyes, and said, “I’ll be watching, I’ll be watching.” His death was such a shock that I felt I had to DO something. I reached out to Enzo Tedeschi to ask him if I could run an idea past him, and when I told him my idea, his reply was, “Can I direct it? Write me a script, and let’s do this!” I’d never written a script before, but I sat down, and it literally typed itself.

What makes this story unique, and why should people watch it?

It’s about the nature of appearances, things not being what we think they are. Simone is trying to stay relevant in her career as a composer and struggling because she’s afraid she’s lost her mojo. It’s also got a wonderful Hitchcockian thriller vibe.

What was the production process like?

It actually happened fairly quickly. I submitted the script to Enzo in May, and we continued to refine it together. I got the funding in June (being the age I am, I could activate my SAG-AFTRA pension fund from the 18 years I worked in LA), Enzo assembled his team with the help of my two amazing producers, Rach Wiggins and Helen Tuck, and we shot in October.

What was the most challenging part of bringing the project to light?

Waiting for my co-star Nicholas Hope to say yes to playing the detective! We had shot an episode of Enzo’s Deadhouse Dark anthology series together and really had immediate chemistry. I knew he’d be terrific as Detective Blaze, so I gave him the script to read. It was probably only a week before he said yes, but it felt like years!

Did anything funny or exceptional happen on set?

We shot the short at my home and had a camera rehearsal day, and as Enzo, Helen, Rach, Fung, and I stepped out onto the balcony, five black cockatoos flew in a circle right in front of us doing their special cries and spirals and then were gone! I knew that was my nephew, Ian saying, “you got this!”

Are there any great achievements from your cast or crew you want to mention?

YES! Fung (Shing Fung Cheung our DP) won the GOLD Award from the ASC Australian Cinematographers Society for his stunning visuals on Over the Edge.

What is the next step for the project?

A production company approached us about turning Over the Edge into a feature film! Watch this space. Enzo and I are working on the script and expanding Simone’s world.

Has it won any awards or had any big achievements yet?

Yes, Over the Edge won the audience award in the Horror/Thriller category at the Coronado International Film Festival!

If you could redo anything in the process or the film itself, what would it be.

Trying not to do the festival film circuit during the covid lockdown. We finished the film in March of 2020, right when Covid hit. The timing couldn’t have been more challenging with our international borders closed and most of the film festivals going virtual.

Australian Feature Film Summit Wraps Trilogy With Prism Round-Table

The Australian Feature Film Summit (AFFS) has today unveiled the outcomes of its trilogy of events, with the forum attracting more than 1,000 delegates across its October virtual AFFS, May hybrid AFFS and AFFS Prism roundtable in June.

The recent AFFS Prism roundtable capped off a year of meetings and events aimed specifically at growing the success of the Australian feature film sector. Facilitated by Dr Simon Longstaff AO, Executive Director of The Ethics Centre, the outcome-driven, future-focused policy forum increased the audience and business case for Australian feature films by teasing out several ‘What if’ scenarios – interrogating new strategies in relation to the business models currently intersecting theatrical production, distribution and exhibition.

Summit Director, Sue Maslin said: “The Summit has been a game changer on a number of fronts. It brought all players involved in connecting screen ideas to theatrical audiences into the same room for the first time in many decades. It demonstrated that cinema still matters and that everyone benefits from great Australian film releases. We need more of these, not less – but ‘good’ is no longer enough. The films need to be ‘great’ to attract audiences to the theatrical space.

“It has closed the loop between exhibition and production and invited exhibitors to join distributors and screen agencies in playing a role in determining what is ‘theatrical’.”

Designed to drive change by turning principles into practice, suggestions into strategies and opinions into outcomes, the Summit provided detailed modelling of how audience data is currently used and more importantly, how the industry might more effectively use it going forward. It invited delegates to listen to each other’s business challenges and opportunities and questioned every aspect of how the industry interrelates and might do things differently – from incentivising success; reforming marketing and release strategies and funding; the risk / award ratio for each industry sector and how this is reflected in terms; and ways that the streaming services could co-exist with theatrical releases.

“This is the beginning of a new era of cooperation and has been supported by all representative bodies of producers, exhibitors and distributors as well as screen agencies and filmmakers. The streamers have yet to fully engage in this conversation but will likewise have an important role to play in the future of Australian feature films,” said Maslin.

Summit Convenor, Gino Munari further commented: “While it may be an understatement to say that there are many diverse perspectives on the solutions, everyone involved in the Australian Feature Film Summit can agree on the need for action to ensure the success of the Australian feature film industry going forward. And the Summit has demonstrated our willingness to work together to achieve it.”

Specific outcomes from the three summit events include;

  • The Road Test pitching forum, produced in partnership with Compton School, will become a regular calendar event to coincide with the Australian International Movie Convention and the ICA Conference;
  • The top three Road Test pitch producers have been invited to participate at the upcoming MIFF 37 South Market;
  • A range of forums both in person and online will continue to bring exhibitors together with filmmakers to increase producers’ understanding of exhibition and cinema programming;
  • A task force to scope an accessible national data base offering core insights on audiences has been established;
  • Plans are underway to establish a marketing task force to review how the industry can work together more strategically to support Australian theatrical releases;
  • The AFFG will contribute a submission to the National Cultural Policy.

For more information visit www.affsummit.com.au.

Top Gun: Maverick Takes Flight At The 75th Annual Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 18: Thierry Fremaux, Joseph Kosinski, Lewis Pullman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Greg Tarzan Davis, Miles Teller, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Jay Ellis attend the screening of “Top Gun: Maverick” during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Tom Cruise, and co-stars Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Lewis Pullman, Greg Tarzan Davis, along with filmmakers Joe Kosinski, Jerry Bruckheimer & Christopher McQuarrie attend the 75th Annual Cannes Film Festival.

Check out the photos from the red carpet below courtesy of Emily McCammon of Paramount.

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 18: Joseph Kosinski, Lewis Pullman, Jerry Bruckheimer, Greg Tarzan Davis, Christopher McQuarrie, Miles Teller, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Jay Ellis and Christopher McQuarrie and Danny Ramirez attend the screening of “Top Gun: Maverick” during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)


After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of TOPGUN graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”

Facing an uncertain future and confronting the ghosts of his past, Maverick is drawn into a confrontation with his own deepest fears, culminating in a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those who will be chosen to fly it.

Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Lewis Pullman, Greg Tarzan Davis, Joe Kosinski, Jerry Bruckheimer, Christopher McQuarrie, poses for “Top Gun: Maverick” cast photos during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France.
Tom Cruise poses for “Top Gun: Maverick” cast photos during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France.
CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 18: Jennifer Connelly and Tom Cruise attend the screening of “Top Gun: Maverick” during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Searchlight Pictures’ “Fire Island” To Premiere On Disney+ On June 17

Disney+ announced that Searchlight Pictures film FIRE ISLAND, the directorial debut from Andrew Ahn, will premiere on Disney+ under the Star banner in Australia on June 17. 

Set in the gay vacation destination off of Long Island, New York, FIRE ISLAND is an unapologetic, modern day romantic comedy showcasing a diverse, multicultural examination of queerness and romance. Inspired by the timeless pursuits from Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, the story centers around two best friends (Joel Kim Booster and Bowen Yang) who set out to have a legendary summer adventure with the help of cheap rosé and their cadre of eclectic friends. 

FIRE ISLAND, directed by Andrew Ahn, stars Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho, Conrad Ricamora, James Scully, Matt Rogers, Tomas Matos, Torian Miller, Nick Adams, Zane Phillips, Michael Graceffa, Peter Smith, and Bradley Gibson. From a screenplay by Joel Kim Booster, the film is produced by Tony Hernandez, John Hodges, and Brooke Posch of JAX Media, and was shot on location in the Pines, NY. 

FIRE ISLAND will have its Australian premiere at the Sydney Film Festival on June 9th, 2022. 

Robust parental controls ensure that Disney+ remains a suitable viewing experience for everyone in the family. Subscribers can set access limits on mature content and create PIN-protected profiles alongside the already existing Kids Profiles to give parents and guardians peace of mind.

#DisneyPlus @DisneyPlusAU

Disney and Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ finally unveils out-of-this-world trailer

Check out a new trailer for Disney and PixarLightyear, revealing new details about the upcoming sci-fi action-adventure. The definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear, the hero who inspired the toy, Lightyear follows the legendary Space Ranger after hes marooned on a hostile planet 4.2 million light-years from Earth alongside his commander and their crew. As Buzz tries to find a way back home through space and time, hes joined by a group of ambitious recruits and his charming robot companion cat, Sox. Complicating matters and threatening the mission is the arrival of Zurg, an imposing presence with an army of ruthless robots and a mysterious agenda. New images are also available.

The film features the voices of Chris Evans as accomplished Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear, Uzo Aduba as his commander and best friend Alisha Hawthorne and Peter Sohn as Sox. Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi and Dale Soules lend their voices to the Junior Zap Patrols Izzy Hawthorne, Mo Morrison and Darby Steel, respectively, and James Brolin can be heard as the enigmatic Zurg. The voice cast also includes Mary McDonald-Lewis as onboard computer I.V.A.N., Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Commander Burnside, Efren Ramirez as Airman Diaz, and Keira Hairston as Young Izzy. Directed by Angus MacLane (co-director Finding Dory), produced by Galyn Susman (Toy Story That Time Forgot) and featuring a score by award-winning composer Michael Giacchino (The Batman,” “Up), Lightyear opens only in Australian cinemas on June 16, 2022.

Check out the trailer below:

The Trailer About The Rise And Fall Of Air Studios Montserrat, The Recording Studio That Changed The World Has Just Dropped

On 1 September 2021, UNDER THE VOLCANO, the untold story about the studio that changed the world from an isolated island paradise will be available on digital release in Australia. Directed by Gracie Otto (The Last Impresario) and produced by Cody Greenwood, UNDER THE VOLCANO charts the rise and fall of AIR Studios Montserrat, the recording studio at the centre of the pop universe in the 1980s.

Built by Beatles’ producer Sir George Martin in 1979, AIR Studios Montserrat was a custom-built, state-of-the-art recording facility tucked away on a Caribbean paradise. In the shadow of an active volcano, the studio not only attracted the biggest musical talent on the planet but was the birthplace of mega-hits such as Money for Nothing and Every Breath You Take.

For a decade, AIR Montserrat formed the backdrop to monumental events in music history including the break-up of The Police, the reunion of The Rolling Stones, and the reinvigoration of Paul McCartney after the tragic murder of John Lennon. After a decade of hits, and at the peak of its popularity, the studio was destroyed when the island was hit by a series of devastating natural disasters.

Through personal accounts and backed by a blistering soundtrack, UNDER THE VOLCANO is the definitive account of Sir George Martin’s studio at the end of the world, a place that generated a perfect storm of talent, technology and isolation, ushering in music that would live on long after the last tape rolled.

UNDER THE VOLCANO is the electrifying story of a musical powerhouse and the secluded hit factory that produced some of the 70s and 80s most iconic records from the world’s most famous artists. Check out the trailer below: