Christmess Writer/Director Heath Davis Talks About Creating His Best Film Yet in This Interview

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Aussie indie filmmaker powerhouse Heath Davis is back with his fourth feature film, Christmess. This seasonally appropriate flick follows on from his grounded work with his solid debut film Broke, in 2016. Heath quickly followed this up with the black comedy Book Week, before swerving into thriller territory with Locusts.

Here we follow washed up alcoholic actor Chris Flint – the never better Steve Le Marquand – who’s getting out of rehab just in time for Christmas. He arrives at the halfway house run by Nick – a phenomenal turn from Darren Gilshenan – only to meet a fellow recovering addict Joy – played by Middle Kids lead singer Hannah Joy. Together they aim to make the best Christmas they can have, while also getting Chris onto the path of some kind of normal.

Christmess sees Heath at his very best, showing a drive and fight for indie storytelling here in Australia that we would usually attribute to that of the American indie filmmakers. There’s a sense of honest Australiana at work here as the heat of a summer Christmas adds to the drama of day to day life.

While Christmess skews towards drama more than it does comedy, it adheres to the Heath Davis mindset of seeing the best in people and setting about to write a film that allows the actors to bring that out in the most natural and genuine way possible. As a trio, Steve Le Marquand, Darren Gilshenan, and Hannah Joy are so completely watchable and engaging that you start to feel like you’re home.

Christmess recently had its world debut at the Austin Film Festival, receiving wide acclaim from filmmakers and audiences alike. Now Heath has headed out on the road, like every hard working indie filmmaker has to, with the film being received by sell-out audiences. The following interview sees Heath touching on that communal experience of cinema, while also discussing his working relationship with Steve, Darren, and Hannah.

Christmess is a seasonal treat, and as it stands, it’s one of the very best Australian Christmas films yet.

To find out more about where Christmess is screening near you, visit the Facebook page for more details.

Andrew F Peirce

Andrew is passionate about Australian cinema, Australian politics, Australian culture, and Australia in general. Found regularly talking online about Sweet Country, and reminding people to watch Young Adult.

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