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All-star Australian cast joins SA-made feature film Kangaroo Island

19 December 2023
Kangaroo Island cast (L-R): Rebecca Breeds, Erik Thomson, Adelaide Clemens, Joel Jackson.

Production is underway in South Australia on Kangaroo Island, the feature film debut from SA director Tim Piper and SA screenwriter Sally Gifford, featuring an all-star Australian cast.

The project is being made with financial support from South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and is one of the recipients of the 2024 Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund (AFFIF).

To be filmed on the state’s most iconic, picturesque island, Kangaroo Island stars Rebecca Breeds (Clarice, C*A*U*G*H*T), Erik Thomson (Aftertaste, Black Snow), Adelaide Clemens (Justified: City Primeval, The Great Gatsby) and Joel Jackson (Mystery Road, Safe Harbour).

Kangaroo Island will have its Australian premiere at the 2024 Adelaide Film Festival.

Kangaroo Island director Tim Piper and writer Sally Gifford

The film is produced by South Australian producers Peter Hanlon (The Angels: Kickin’ Down The Door) and Bettina Hamilton (Monolith), Daniel Rosenberg (Inside Man, Righteous Kill, Odd Mom Out) and Tim Piper.

The family relationship drama/comedy centres around a struggling Hollywood actress forced to reunite with her sister as part of her father’s last wishes.

Lou Wells (Breeds) was set to become Hollywood’s next big thing – but a few years later, she’s hit rock bottom. Broke and aimless, she reluctantly accepts a ticket from her estranged father, Rory (Thomson), home to Kangaroo Island for a “family reunion.” When Rory’s real agenda unfolds, years of tension resurface, and Lou struggles between continuing to run away from her past or working to repair the damage done.

Director Piper returns to his home state of South Australia for the project, after over a decade running the advertising agency Piro Inc in New York.

Piper said: “I’m thrilled to be back in my hometown and to be working with such a talented cast and crew. Sally has written an incredible script and to be shooting on a spiritual and magical place as Kangaroo Island has been amazing. The Island has become more character than location and plays an integral part of the family portrayal.”

Writer Sally Gifford said: “Kangaroo Island’s astonishing beauty, amidst its formidable landscapes, is exciting and humbling – humans are merely ‘visitors’ here, we have with the privilege of observing the local animals at home. Observing animals in the wild is why I was inspired to write a story about the human animal, what makes us who we are and how we make our lives meaningful. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work on magical Kangaroo Island with our very talented Australian cast and crew.”

Producers Peter Hanlon, Bettina Hamilton and Daniel Rosenberg said, jointly: “We are really excited to be on this creative journey with Tim and Sally. This is a beautiful family story that we are sure will resonate with audiences. To be filming on the otherworldliness that Lonely Planet nominated as one of the world’s most must-visit regions just adds to the magic of this project.”

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said: “The SAFC welcomes Tim Piper and Sally Gifford back to South Australia and is proud to support the production of this SA-owned and SA-originated feature film which will showcase the natural beauty of South Australia to audiences here and internationally. Made by an entirely South Australian key creative team, Kangaroo Island will provide debut feature film credits for SA writer Sally Gifford and SA director Tim Piper, and bolster the credits of SA producers Peter Hanlon and Bettina Hamilton, increasing the capability of the state’s screen sector. The SAFC is pleased to add Kangaroo Island to the growing list of projects supported together with Adelaide Film Festival, and we look forward to its premiere in the 2024 program.”

Adelaide Film Festival CEO and Creative Director Mat Kesting said: “Adelaide Film Festival is excited to support this terrific project that sets a compelling dramatic story of family, love and loss against a backdrop that is Kangaroo Island. We welcome director Tim Piper home to SA and knowing the other creatives he is in collaboration with, we anticipate the film will deliver a terrific cinematic experience for audiences at its premiere at AFF in October 2024 and beyond.”

Production has been underway across Adelaide and Kangaroo Island and concludes this month.

Kangaroo Island is a Pouch Potato Production, in conjunction with Piro Inc. With financial support from South Australian Film Corporation and Adelaide Film Festival. Directed by Tim Piper. Screenplay by Sally Gifford. Produced by Peter Hanlon, Bettina Hamilton, Daniel Rosenberg and Tim Piper. ANZ Distribution handled by Maslow Entertainment.

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