Sydney Film Festival to Open With ‘Ruben Guthrie’

The upcoming edition of the Sydney Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Australian drama “Ruben Guthrie.” The festival runs June 3-14, 2015.

The film is the feature directing debut for playwright, screenwriter and actor Brendan Cowell. He adapted it from his own critically lauded Belvoir St. Theatre production.

The film, produced by Kath Shelper, assembles a top-drawer collection of Australian talent, including Patrick Brammall, Abbey Lee, Alex Dimitriades, Jeremy Sims, Robyn Nevin, Brenton Thwaites and Jack Thompson.

“’Ruben Guthrie’ is the story of one man not only battling the bottle, but the city [Sydney] that won’t let him put it down,” said the festival by way of description. The story follows a man whose party boy lifestyle nearly kills him, but whose girlfriend offers to give him one more chance if he can quit drinking for a year.

“It’s a hard-hitting, touching, surprisingly funny and intensely human story,” said festival director Nashen Moodley. Moodley will unveil his main selection on May 6.

The picture is set for distribution in Australia through Madman Films. The company, which last year regained its independence from conglomerate ownership, is currently seeing its Damien Gameau-directed “That Sugar Film” score as the second biggest ever documentary in Australian theaters.

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