Production has begun in Brisbane, Australia, on dramatic comedy film “A Savage Christmas.”
The story is that of a trans woman who, after years of estrangement, returns home for Christmas with her new boyfriend. Expecting her transition to be the focus, it is instead overshadowed by family secrets and lies which threaten not only their lives but another Christmas lunch.
The film is written, directed and produced by feature debutant Madeleine Dyer, who has pitched it as stylistically resembling “Death at a Funeral” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” Screen Australia’s head of content Grainne Brunsdon said the film “blends off-beat humor while reflecting our nation’s diversity.” Dyer co-wrote the screenplay with Daniel Mulvihill and Max Jahufer.
The film is also the debut production from Roaring Entertainment, a newly formed company by Brisbane-based producers Ben McNeill and Mulvihill.
Members of the Savage family are played by Helen Thomson (“Elvis”), Darren Gilshenan (“Upright,” “No Activity”), David Roberts (“Colin from Accounts”), Gary Sweet (“Jack Irish”) and Ryan Morgan (“Locusts”), with Rachel Griffiths (“Total Control,” “Bali 2002”) also featured. The film introduces newcomers Thea Raveneau, Max Jahufer and Rekha Ryan in their feature debuts.
Roaring Entertainment producers are Mulvihill and McNeill. Executive producers are Tracey Robertson, Jason Byrne, Jonathan Page and Stephen Corvini.
Local distributors and international sales representatives have not been disclosed. The film is anticipated to have an end of year theatrical release.
The film is supported by the Queensland state government through Screen Queensland’s Screen Finance program. Principal production investment comes from federal body Screen Australia.
“This film also serves as a talent escalator for many cast and crew stepping into new roles. Screen Queensland’s energetic and long-standing support of the project throughout development is valued greatly and has allowed us to foster the culturally and socially poignant themes running through the film,” said Roaring Entertainment in a statement.
Other productions recently supported by the state’s Screen Finance program include Stan Original series “Black Snow,” SBS Food/NITV cooking and culture show “Strait to the Plate,” festive feature “Mistletoe Ranch,” Network 10 and Nickelodeon youth series “Rock Island Mysteries” and upcoming Australian Broadcasting Corporation series “Limbo.”