Brendan Cowell makes directorial debut with adland film Ruben Guthrie

Brendan Cowell

Writer and actor Brendan Cowell will make his feature film directorial debut with the adaptation of his play Ruben Guthrie - the story of a wild-boy agency creative who burns himself out.

Cowell’s project is among 19 films to receive a cut of the $450,000 development support from Screen Australia.

Cowell has teamed up with Yael Bergman, producer of I Love You Too, which starred Cowell, and executive producers Laura Waters and Andrea Denholm.

The film’s synopsis reads: “By day, 29-year-old Ruben Guthrie is the wunderkind creative at one of Sydney’s hottest boutique ad agencies; by night, he is one of Sydney’s most notorious party boys until he jumps off a hotel roof into a wading pool and nearly kills himself. Over the next 12 months, Ruben tries to build a life around AA, cups of tea, inner growth and sex with a reformed addict. His friends, family and co-workers all want the ‘fun’ Ruben back, but Ruben’s on a mission.

Cowell wrote the forthcoming cricket-themed film Save Your Legs! and was nominated for an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award for his writing on 2011 series The Slap.

Also receiving funding is Red Dog’s director Kriv Stenders, who is reuniting with Lucky Country scriptwriter Andy Cox on two films, F***ked! A Romance, and The Outrageous Barry Rush.

The full 19 films:
ADDITION
Genre Romantic Comedy
Producers Cristina Pozzan, Bruna Papandrea
Writer Harry Cripps
Synopsis Grace cannot stop counting things. It has cost her her job as a teacher and shut her off from the rest of the world. But meeting Seamus opens up the possibility of a normal life. Unfortunately becoming normal is a lot harder than Grace thought. Based on the novel by Toni Jordan.

ALEX AND EVE
Genre Romantic Comedy
Producer Murray Fahey
Executive Producer Bill Kritharas
Writers Alex Lykos, Geoffrey Atherton
Director Peter Andrikidis
Synopsis A Greek Orthodox boy falls in love with a Lebanese Muslim girl creating a mismatch made in heaven. Based on the hugely crowd-pleasing play of the same name.

BACKTRACK
Genre Thriller
Producer Jamie Hilton
Writer/Director Michael Petroni
Synopsis Senior clinical psychologist Peter Bower’s life is in turmoil when he discovers that all his patients are ghosts. Upon further investigation he discovers they all died on the same day. In a spine-tingling, supernatural thriller, Peter travels back to his past to confront a secret he has kept for 20 years.

BERLIN SYNDROME
Genre Psychological Thriller
Producer Polly Staniford
Executive Producer Angie Fielder
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave.

CLIVE
Genre Drama
Producer Bridget Ikin
Executive Producer John Maynard
Writer/Director Natasha Pincus
Synopsis Clive is a man in his prime. Married, with a high-flying corporate job, his life is privileged, glossy, ‘perfect’ – until he loses both his legs in a car accident. Clive is forced to find the resources and the resolve to return to the ‘real world’ – as a new man, transformed by his experiences.

EM
Genre Comedy
Producers Karen Radzyner, Anna Vincent
Writer Matthew Dabner
Director Kate Riedl
Synopsis Set against a sweeping, summer landscape in 1950s rural Australia, Em is a fresh take on Jane Austen’s timeless classic Emma, as you’ve never seen her before.

F****D! A ROMANCE
Genre Comic Romance
Producer Vincent Sheehan
Writer Andy Cox
Director Kriv Stenders

JASPER JONES
Genre Coming of Age
Producers Vincent Sheehan, David Jowsey
Writer Shaun Grant
Synopsis Based on the award-winning Australian novel by Craig Silvey.

JULIAN CORKLE IS A FILTHY LIAR
Genre Comedy
Producers Marian Macgowan, Sarah Radclyffe
Writer Mark Herman
Synopsis A romp through family life and black-sheepedness in small town Tasmania in the 1980s. Based on the best-selling novel by DJ Connell.

K.A.R.M.A
Genre Adventure Comedy
Writers Peter Templeman, Michael Lucas
Director Peter Templeman

KING OF THIEVES
Genre Biopic
Producer Ian Collie
Writer Andrew Knight
Co-writer Adam Shand
Synopsis In 1788, Britain sent it’s thieves and lowlifes to the colony of Australia. Two hundred years later they are returning home. The true story of the infamous Kangaroo Gang.

LONELY GIRL
Genre Thriller
Producer Samantha Jennings
Writer Lynne Vincent McCarthy
Synopsis A lonely young woman consumed by grief kills a man and hides his body in her basement. When she discovers he is still alive, she decides to keep him. Lonely Girl is a moving and erotic psychological thriller with a dark wit.

MY COUNTRY
Genre Crime Drama
Producer Matthew Dabner
Writers Sam Meikle, Serhat Caradee
Director Serhat Caradee
Synopsis A young woman catches the wrong cab after a night out in Sydney and is whisked off to an unknown location by five masked men. Initially the girl assumes it’s all a mistake, but when reality sets in she’s made to realise why she was the target.

THE OUTRAGEOUS BARRY RUSH
Genre Adventure Comedy
Producer Alan Harris
Writer Andy Cox
Director Kriv Stenders

OUT WEST
Genre Comedy
Producers Leesa Kahn, Catriona Hughes
Writer/Director Alister Grierson
Co-writer Terry Jennings
Synopsis Two corrupt ex-cops travel to Coober Pedy with a bag of cash and play chicken with vengeful bikies, thieves, a yakuza wannabe, sociopathic rednecks and a rather short-tempered one-armed deaf guy.

RUBEN GUTHRIE
Genre Comedy Drama
Producer Yael Bergman
Executive Producers Laura Waters, Andrea Denholm
Writer/Director Brendan Cowell
Synopsis By day, 29-year-old Ruben Guthrie is the wunderkind creative at one of Sydney’s hottest boutique ad agencies; by night, he is one of Sydney’s most notorious party boys until he jumps off a hotel roof into a wading pool and nearly kills himself. Over the next 12 months, Ruben tries to build a life around AA, cups of tea, inner growth and sex with a reformed addict. His friends, family and co-workers all want the ‘fun’ Ruben back, but Ruben’s on a mission.

SUBJECT 14 (aka CHRONICAL)
Genre Science Fiction
Producer Lisa Shaunessy
Executive Producer Michael Rymer
Writer/Director Seth Larney
Synopsis The son of a scientist is called to the future to solve the world’s oxygen crisis and save the woman he loves.

THE TRUTH ABOUT JACK
Genre Romantic Drama
Producer Adam Dolman
Executive Producer Tristram Miall
Writer Glen Dolman
Director Luke Eve
Synopsis After an ambitious young doctor accidentally kills a small boy in a hit and run, his guilt compels him to make contact with the boy’s mother, sparking a dangerous love affair.

VIOLET TOWN
Genre Drama
Producers Ian Collie, John Molloy, Mark Joffe
Executive Producers Mark Morrissey, Michael Gudinski
Writer Matt Cameron
Director Mark Joffe
Synopsis New Year’s Eve, 1957. Vic, Rita and their young son Michael walk down a dusty road in the twilight towards a neighbour’s much anticipated party. It’s a hot summer night set to unleash bitter failings and buried secrets – a night that will change their lives.

Comments


  1. Adam Ferrier
    19 Nov 12
    2:38 pm

  2. I saw Ruben Gutherie as a play was absolutely brilliant. Can’t wait for the film.

  3. Opinions may vary
    25 Nov 12
    5:49 pm

  4. I have been a big fan of his writing since Love My way. For me, he writes male character so well. I predict this will be a great script at least.