A new Australian film, announced on Wednesday in Competition at the Sydney Film Festival, will see a modest, art house release.
Liz Watts, producer for Dead Europe told Encore: “I think Dead Europe is a niche film. It’s not going to be a wide release,” adding that it would receive targeted marketing support.
Watts added: “It will have a 35-years and over audience. It will be a sophisticated release [but], we haven’t got a firm fix on the number of screens.”
“We’d be trying to use lots of methods for audiences to find out about the film. When marketing, the internet plays a huge role.”
Directed by Tony Krawitz, it was adapted by Louise Fox from a novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas, the author of The Slap. Watts said to capture that 35-plus audience, they’ll also be ‘unashamedly’ using Tsiolkas’ name, who worked closely with Fox on the adaptation.
Watts said the cast should also be a draw card, including lead Ewen Leslie. “He’s well known in the theatre scene, but he’s now going from film role to film role.” The film also features Kodi Smit-McPhee from The Road.
Watts also said the topicality of the film will also be marketed. “It has a newsworthy feel,” she said.
The story, about an Australian who retraces his roots to Europe and discovers his family is cursed, originally used the fighting of the former Yugoslavia as a backdrop, but has been contemporised to use the Greek financial crisis as a backdrop instead.
Krawitz told Encore: “We were fortuitous to be able to film in a demonstration. We filmed a lot of Dead Europe like a documentary. It’s got a verite, documentary edge, but its also a really gripping.”
Watts said: “It was shot like a Michael Winterbottom film, very much on the road, shot on four countries, there was ten of us including Ewen.”
Krawitz’s last feature was the documentary The Tall Man, which screened at 2011’s Toronto International Film Festival.
The film, which has worked within the Australian qualifications for the producer offset, has international sales through the French based company, Wild Bunch and will be distributed through Transmission locally.