About the film
Release Date: Aug 23, 2018
Director: Jason Raftopoulos
Actors: Damian Hill, Ty PerhamFor his debut feature West of Sunshine, Jason Raftopoulos creates a compelling portrait of fatherhood and the intergenerational burden of having to carry the past or the future of a family legacy.
The narrative is contained to a single day, where Jim (Damian Hill), is in a little trouble - he’s struggling with gambling debt, and a loan shark is calling to collect. It’s the same day that he receives a call from his estranged wife (Kat Stewart), reminding him he’d promised to look after his son Alex (Ty Perham - Hill’s real-life stepson).
So, Jim has to hustle the money for the loan payment with his son hanging by his side. Squeezing Jim’s time even further is having to clock in for his job as a parcel courier. It’s enough to make anyone have a nervous breakdown, but from the way he carries himself, it’s more than evident that Jim has been up against it before.
Shot entirely on location in Melbourne, and using a combination of professional and non-actors, the film is an exercise is modern realism. Cinematographer Thom Neal, lovingly captures the Melbourne sunshine that coats the film while Raftopoulos shows genuine compassion for his leads. This is a drama crafted with precision, and feeling,
‘West of Sunshine’ made it into official selection at the 74th Venice Film Festival.