The Ben Elton-produced feature film based at a Fairbridge music festival, Three Summers is set to make it’s big Australian debut, having been added to the Special Event listing for this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
On top of that, the film has also been shortlisted as a finalist in CinefestOZ film prize, the biggest prize of it’s kind in WA.
Running against the film in the lauded competition are some other amazing recent examples of Australian film, all equally dealing with issues of race and equality as much as Three Summers does: Ali’s Wedding, Australia Day and Jungle.
Described by Elton himself as “Australia in a tent”, the film stretches across the titular three summers at “Westival” – a fictional folk festival many punters may recognise as being a pretty spot-on recreation of Fairbridge Festival.
Even better, the film is carried by a range of Australian talent: Magda Szubanski plays the irrepressible local radio personality Queenie carries the narration, while Robert Sheehan – probably most notable for taking the head role in the second half of massively successful British supernatural teen drama Misfits – joins Home and Away alum Rebecca Breeds as the leads.
Sheehan and Breeds play two distinct counterparts – musicians coming at two very different angles in their careers who eventually find common ground.
Revolving around this is a strong connection to Fairbridge as an environment, strikingly driven by a powerful narrative of belonging and traditional Noongar culture.
Of course, the film balances on Elton’s sharp, satirical wit, and his ability to tell a sweeping story with precise economy.
The creator of The Young Ones, Blackadder, Dead Famous and Stark has transposed his unique brand of often-political but always on-point comedy to the film.
The film’s debut at MIFF is on August 12, while the WA debut at CinefestOZ will be at Orana Cinemas, Busselton, on Wednesday August 23.
Three Summers will then be released nationally though Transmission Films.