“There’s a lot of really ugly behaviour. There are certain points in the movie that are difficult as a viewer and you’d be entitled to walk out at those moments. But if you don’t stick around to the end, you’ll miss that there’s a reason for watching this movie,” Abe Forsythe told the Sydney Morning Herald of his film, Down Under.
Down Under is a film about the Cronulla race riots of 2005. It’s not a doco. It’s not a drama. It’s a comedy. A very black comedy.
The film made its global debut at this year’s Sydney Film Festival and is due for cinema release on August 11. It will cause a stir. So will its campaign. Neither is sanitised.
The message of both the film and its campaign is Australia v Australia – Nobody wins. The campaign is a series of posters running nationally in outdoor, cinema and on social.
According to director Abe Forsythe, the challenge with Down Under, from script through to the final edit, was conveying the correct tone. It was vital that the controversial subject matter was not treated lightly.
“The whole team at The Monkeys embraced this challenge and came up with a brilliant execution,” Forsythe stated.
“It walks that difficult line, but does it with a sense of provocation and humour that makes us look at the issue in a different way. Just like the movie itself. I can genuinely say that working with everyone at the agency was one of the creative highlights of the six-year process it took me to make this movie.”
The Monkeys chief creative officer and writer, Justin Drape, commented, “We hope the film and the campaign will highlight some serious issues we still face in Australia, and the world, today. Everybody should see this film. Abe has somehow made the futility of hatred and ignorance funny despite the long term negative effects that this behaviour is having in our country.”
A (sold-out) special preview screening of the film along with a Director’s Q&A was held last night at The Ritz Cinema in Randwick, Sydney. The film is distributed by STUDIOCANAL Australia.
Creative Agency: The Monkeys
Co-founder & chief creative officer: Justin Drape
Campaign creatives: Scott Dettrick, Jake Rusznyak, Dennis Koutoulogenis & Michael Hogg
Planning director: Michael Hogg
Interactive planning director: Grant Flannery
Design lead: James Halliday
Head of print production: Tom Harrison
Senior art buyer: Alison Dunlop
Content director: Samantha Heckendorf
Senior content manager: Shannon Duhig
Photographer: Toby Burrows
Photographic production: The Kitchen Creative
Retouching: Cream Studios
Community manager: Alexandra Gee