“He's a very fine director and a truly talented filmmaker, who's had great experience with shorts with a big range of ideas – his work is quite superb.” AFI-winning producer John Maynard, (The Bank, Romulus, My Father) is talking about short film director Kasimir Burgess (Lily), whose debut feature film Fell has recently completed its first week shoot in the Southern Victorian Alps.
The local drama revolves around the plight of grief-stricken Thomas Ryan (played by Matt Nable, Son of a Gun), whose daughter is killed in a hit-and-run incident by Luke Simpson (played by Snowtown actor Henshall). After Luke is released from prison, Thomas leaves his corporate world existence, changes his identity and relocates close to where Luke now lives with the presumed intention of getting even with him.
Jacqueline McKenzie (Angel Baby, Romper Stomper) appears as Thomas' wife Rachel in a small but significant part.
“Fell is very hard to reduce to a couple of lines,” considers Maynard on summing up the film for audiences. “It's not a revenge thriller – it's not as cut and dry as that.”
What certainly is clear, having produced the cinematic debuts of both Jane Campion and Vincent Ward (Sweetie and The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey, respectively), is Maynard's impressive track record of discovering local filmmakers of considerable merit. “I've spent my life backing talent and working with interesting ideas and filmmakers,” says the 70-year-old confidently. “Working with Burgess on this is a continuation of that.”
Fell will be distributed by Transmission Films for a 2014 release.