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News

30 11 2017 - Media release

Daniel Henshall and Toby Wallace begin filming Acute Misfortune

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Acute Misfortune / Daniel Henshall as Adam Cullen

Filming began this week in the Blue Mountains on Acute Misfortune the adaptation of Erik Jensen’s award-winning biography of acclaimed painter Adam Cullen.

Produced by Plot Media, Blackheath Film and Arenamedia, with principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, the MIFF Premiere Film Fund and Soundfirm, the film will be a fly on the wall look into the explosive and volatile dynamic of the nineteen-year-old biographer and his subject.

Based on the award-winning book Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen, which was named among the Best Books of 2014 by The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sunday Mail, The New Daily and The Age.

The notorious Archibald Prize winning Adam Cullen will be played by Daniel Henshall (Okja, Snowtown, Not Suitable for Children) while Toby Wallace (Romper Stomper, Boys In the Trees) takes on the role of the prodigious young journalist Erik Jensen.

The screenplay is written by Jensen and award winning theatre director and actor Thomas M. Wright (well known for his roles in Top of the Lake and Balibo), who is also directing. Cinematography by Germain McMicking (Top of the Lake: China Girl, Berlin Syndrome, Holding The Man). Produced by Virginia Kay and Jamie Houge at Plot Media with Thomas M. Wright for Black Heath Films. Executive produced by Robert Connolly and Liz Kearney for Arenamedia.

Director, co-writer and co-producer Thomas M. Wright comments, “Acute Misfortune is the story of a relationship of abandon, warmth, intensity - and of control, tension and violence. The film reveals the life of an iconic artist and an acclaimed journalist in unsparing detail. It is a literary detective story, about trying to write the truth of another person.”

Erik Jensen says of the project: “Watching as this book becomes a film has been one of the great privileges of my career. I started writing this story when I was 19, staying in Adam's spare room on the promise of a book contract that never existed. I stayed because Adam fascinated me. Writing the screenplay with Thomas M. Wright was just as illuminating, in some ways, as those years spent interviewing Adam. I have absolute faith in the team assembled to tell this story - in their subtlety and integrity, and willingness to work without judgment or fear.”

Sally Caplan, Screen Australia’s Head of Production said, “Thomas M. Wright has a striking vision for his debut feature and together with Erik Jensen has delivered a bold script that is rich with suspense, angst and tragedy. We are thrilled to see experienced executive producers Robert Connolly and Liz Kearney working alongside producers Virginia Kay and Jamie Houge, as they bring to life this fascinating story.”

Film Victoria CEO, Jenni Tosi said, “This exciting co-venture between Melbourne based Arenamedia and Plot Media will assemble a strong Victorian filmmaking team for production and post. Led by Virginia Kay and Jamie Houge, this adaptation of Erik Jensen’s award-winning biography is a fascinating journey into the world of artist Adam Cullen.”

Soundfirm CEO Roger Savage said, “Soundfirm is thrilled to have been selected as post-production partner, and as an investor for this uniquely exciting true story. We have a specialised dailies kit near-set in the Blue Mountains, and we will undertake full picture and sound post production in our Melbourne facility. We look forward to working with the talented team, and nurturing Thomas’s feature debut.”

Production Credits: An Arenamedia, Plot Media and Blackheath Film with principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, the MIFF Premiere Film Fund and Soundfirm. Written by Erik Jensen and Thomas M. Wright. Directed by Thomas M Wright. Produced by Virginia Kay, Jamie Houge and Thomas M Wright. Executive Producers: Robert Connolly and Liz Kearney. Distributed by Cinemaplus.

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