Dean Francis’s brilliant film DROWN set to make waves at Mardi Gras!

February 2015

Mardi Gras film festival breakout movie Drown puts spotlight on homophobia in Australian sport

  • LAURA AUBUSSON
  • SOUTHERN COURIER
  • FEBRUARY 23, 2015 3:58PM
The new Australian movie Drown will show at the Mardi Gras film festival on March 4.

The new Australian movie Drown will show at the Mardi Gras film festival on March 4.

The breakout film of this year’s Mardi Gras film festival, about mateship and homophobia in Australian sport, is gaining international attention and breaking box office records.

Filmed at Maroubra Surf Club and across Sydney beaches, Drown is the fastest-selling movie in the festival’s history.

The film Drown, was filmed across Sydney beaches. Lead actor, Matt Levett is filmed compe

The film Drown, was filmed across Sydney beaches. Lead actor, Matt Levett is filmed competing at Maroubra beach

It sold out its 900-seat cinema screening in a week, requiring an encore showing.

Directed by Dean Francis, the film is about the competitive world of surf lifesaving and follows the story of Len (Matt Levett), who is dethroned as the champion by Phil (Jack Matthews), a younger, gay competitor.

A booze-fuelled night in Kings Cross brings jealousy, homophobic fear and unrequited lust to a tragic climax.

Drown director Dean Francis with actor Jack Matthews at Maroubra.

Drown director Dean Francis with actor Jack Matthews at Maroubra.

Aussie film Drown being filmed at Maroubra, actors Matt Levett and Harry Cook embrace.

Aussie film Drown being filmed at Maroubra, actors Matt Levett and Harry Cook embrace.

Francis says Australian society has a problem with accepting homosexuality in sport.

“You can count on one hand the number of openly gay people in sport,” he says.

“With 8–12 per cent of our society largely identifying as gay, it means we have a lot of oppressed people in sport.

“You look at swimmer Ian Thorpe who was brave enough to come out, but that was after many years of depression, and he retired before he announced it.

“It’s time society asked, ‘why don’t we allow people in sport to be gay?’”

Jack Matthews stars in Drown a film about homophobia and mateship.

Jack Matthews stars in Drown a film about homophobia and mateship.

The Surry Hills director was compelled to turn the Queensland Theatre Company play into a film because it talked about real Australian issues and the characters were “incredibly relatable”.

“These are people you would see on the beaches.

“The film shows motivation behind street violence and homophobia in sporting teams.

“It’s a moving and sad story.”

Drown also puts a focus on mateship and its place in Australian culture.

Actor Matt Levett is lifted while filming Drown at Maroubra beach.

Actor Matt Levett is lifted while filming Drown at Maroubra beach.

Francis says mateship “stifles the notion of an individual’s identity and, in particular, their sexual identity”.

The world premiere of Drown, which has been picked up by European, British and US distributors and is based on a Queensland Theatre Company play, is on Wednesday, March 4 at Sydney’s George St Cinemas.

Mardi Gras Film Festival is on from February 19 to March 5.

Source:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/city-east/mardi-gras-film-festival-breakout-movie-drown-puts-spotlight-on-homophobia-in-australian-sport/story-fngr8h22-1227235798286


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