Australian director Louise Alston is set to make two more low-budget romantic comedies, following her debut film All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, which is being released in Denmark through Sunrise Film Distribution.
Cameras will roll on January 7 on Jucy, the second of the films, with Alston again directing a script by her husband, Stephen Vagg. This time, however, many of the actors from Brisbane worked first with Alston to devise their own characters using improvisation techniques and then with Vagg on the dialogue.
‘We are trying to make low-budget films into an enterprise and having a trilogy is viable and packageable,’ said Alston, who is in discussion with distributors and examining internet distribution as part of her business plan. The Pacific Film and Television Commission has put $32,000 (A$50,000) into Jucy and Alston says this is enough to start filming.
In Brisbane, two best friends of the opposite sex, both young professionals, discover and acknowledge their feelings for each other on the eve of the woman going to live abroad. In Jucy girl gets girl, loses girl, recovers girl and they become friends forever: The third film, Friday Night Drinks, is an adaptation of a stage play written by Vagg.
All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane was an unmistakably Queensland film — Brisbane is the capital of Queensland — and this was reflected in its release: it played most strongly in several Queensland megaplexes, including in one for seven weeks.
Danish rights were acquired by Sunrise after four screenings at the NatFilm Festival in Copenhagen were sold out and it will be in cinemas from December 1. Alston believes the Danish audiences were receptive because it is similar in style to a Dogme film. Highpoint has international rights.
Alston produced and directed Brisbane under her production company Bunker Productions International and with co-producer Jade van der Lei, but Jucy is being produced by Kelly Chapman under a production joint venture between Chapman’s company, KCDC, and Bunker.