Screen Queensland is paving the way for Queensland filmmakers and screenwriters to create and bring Australian films to the big screen through its Screen Queensland Originals Initiative, in partnership with online television streaming service Stan.
The winning entry, The Second by writer Stephen Lance, is a psychological mystery thriller starring Rachel Blake, Susie Porter and Vince Colosimo, in an emotional tale of an author struggling to follow up a best selling novel, who is revisited by her childhood best friend while spending the weekend at her old family estate.
Leanne Tonkes, one of the producers of The Second, sees this as a huge step forward for young up-and-comers in the Australian film industry. “Screen Queensland … proposed fully funding a feature film. They asked first-time filmmakers who hadn’t yet made a feature to submit content, and out of that content, they shortlisted four.
Adding to the film’s locality, The Second’s director Mairi Cameron brought her home state to the big screen, dipping into the plethora of talent from the local drama scene.
Leanne and the crew scoured the Western Downs for the perfect setting for their thriller, finally finding it at Jimbour House.
“We were looking for a house that was remote and one that sort of had a history to it. There are a number of older houses in Queensland but I guess one as remote as that; it’s a spectacular sort of environment to create a film and we fell in love with it from the moment we found it.
History indeed, as this will be the first feature length film to be featured on Stan. As well as an exclusive theatrical release prior to the Stan release, The Second has been submitted to international film festivals. “We are the first to try this theatrical and Stan combination out and we are excited about the opportunity having Stan involved will mean for audience recognition for the film, making sure that people are talking about it … We are very lucky to have such a great cast. It’s a film we have created for female audiences and we’re pretty excited about how women will respond to the film.”
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