Australian comedy ‘Girl Asleep’ has its Sydney premiere at the Sydney Film Festival today. It’s a small budget, locally produced film that has gone on to tour the world and screen at the Berlinale and the Seattle International Film Festival. With a young cast, it’s a very quirky, unusual picture set during a birthday party in the 70s. Director Rosemary Myers and Producer Jo Dyer sat down to chat about the film which will be released in cinemas in September.


Full audio above, highlights below


On the film

Rosemary: “It’s a coming of age story about a very shy girl who moved to a new town and her parents decide to throw her a 15th birthday party to bring her out of her shell which is kind of the worst possible news for her. The film is originally adapted from a play and its quite a quirky film in terms of its style. Its set in the 1970s and because it was a play first and because we like to make quite lateral theatre to begin with its actually quite a playful telling of that coming of age story.”

Jo: “It was this real coming together of different sensibilities and looking at the world in slightly different ways; everybody had this whimsical, playful take on how the wanted to tell the story.”


On the cast

Rosemary: “That was one of the joys for us, we come from a theatre background so often we have adults playing the kids so to have access to these amazing young actors was quite incredible. The lead is played by Bethany Whitmore who’s done a lot of work for her 15 years, Harrison Feldman who was part of ‘Upper Middle Bogan’ plays the other main character Elliott… there was this amazing support cast of young actors out of the amateur theatre world of Adelaide.”


On the party scene

Rosemary: “It was a lot of fun, we had a lot of teenagers dressing up in 70s clothes and the actual night was kind of like a party, we shot it over one whole night. A lot of them kind of worked out their own dance moves and then we worked it into the sequence.”

Jo: “The kids love it and that’s the target audience but it’s also playing well with adults and people of our generation because everybody remembers when they came of age and because its set in the 70s there’s this nostalgia, people of our generation and a little older were growing up in that time, they can look to the film and see themselves.”


‘Girl Asleep’ is screening on Saturday 17 June at the Sydney Film Festival and will be released in cinemas in September – for more information head to the Festival website

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