WEST OF SUNSHINE (WoS) is an independently produced Australian film by debut feature film director Jason Raftopoulos. The film is produced by Exile Entertainment, a Melbourne based production/ distribution company, in association with Small Village Films.
The film is based on the award winning short film by Jason Raftopoulos: FATHER’S DAY.
WoS was shot entirely on location in Melbourne, Australia in 18 days. The film was financed independently through private investment and cast/ crew deferrals. The production value of the film is testament to the filmmaking abilities of the key creatives. This is a production team that is on the rise.
WoS sits in the drama/ family genre and will place the audience in the world of realism made famous by Italian Auteurs, through the experience of its main protagonist. Comparable films are THE BICYCLE THIEF and THE WRESTLER - both films show a protagonist’s struggle with his own shortcomings, both as a parent and a human.
The strength of WoS lies in the director’s execution of his vision and the authentic performances of the actors. To achieve this authenticity, we cast a combination of actors and non-actors: Jim’s (Damian Hill) son, played by Tyler Perham in his first on-screen appearance, is Damian’s real life step-son. This real life relationship created an on screen chemistry and dynamic between the two most important characters.
The critical success of social realist films in 2016 such as MOONLIGHT (Best Film – Academy Award 2017) and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (Best Actor – Academy Award 2017) shows that this genre of filmmaking is becoming increasingly appreciated and celebrated by festivals and critics.
Other social realist dramas such as AMERICAN HONEY (Jury Prize – Cannes Film Festival 2016) and MA’ROSA (Best Actress - Cannes Film Festival 2016) have also been praised for their sincerity and performances.
WoS sits firmly in this genre and intends to make its critical mark in 2017.