Production has begun in Greater Sydney on “Christmess,” a light-hearted drama written and directed by Heath Davis. It stars musician and vocalist Hannah Joy of alternative indie rock band Middle Kids in her feature film debut.
The film also stars Steve Le Marquand (“Last Train to Freo”), Darren Gilshenan (“No Activity”) and Aaron Glenane (“Snowpiercer,” “upcoming “Shantaram”). Le Marquand plays the role of a once famous actor who has been reduced by alcohol addiction to performing as Santa Claus in a mall. After accidentally meeting his estranged daughter (Nicole Pastor), he seeks help from his sponsor (Gilshenan) and a sharp-tongued musician in recovery (Joy) in order to win his daughter’s forgiveness in time for the festive season.
“Christmess” is produced by Daniel Fenech, Cindy Pritchard and Matthew McCracken. It is financed through crowd funding and the support of unnamed partners. Distribution will be handled by Bonsai Films.
The shoot is taking place over three weeks in Campbelltown, New South Wales, with the cast and crew adhering to COVID-safe filming practices.
Le Marquand has starred in three of Davis’ previous films “Book Week,” “Broke” and “Locusts.”
In addition to acting, Joy will contribute original music to the film and provide as well as Christmas cover songs.
“I love Christmas movies, but I’ve never really seen a Christmas movie that depicts the reality of what the holiday season is for many of us – crippling stress, anxiety, malaise and economic struggle, all too often underpinned by alcohol abuse,” said Davis. “At its core, ‘Christmess’ is a celebration of the human spirit, the kindness of strangers and the healing power of forgiveness.”