fbpx Biennale Cinema 2017 | Jason Raftopoulos - West of Sunshine
La Biennale di Venezia

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Jason Raftopoulos - West of Sunshine

Australia / 78’
language English
cast Damian Hill, Ty Perham, Kat Stewart, Tony Nikolakopoulos, Arthur Angel
screenplay Jason Raftopoulos
cinematographer Thom Neal
editor Paul Rowe
production designer Anna Russell
costume designer Alicia Aulsebrook
music Lisa Gerrard, James Orr
sound Tristan Meredith
special effects Chris Reynolds


Separated from his family and caught in a cycle of gambling and debt, Jim has less than a day to repay a violent loan shark. His day is turned upside down when he must look after his young son who is on school holidays. Jim’s relationship with his son is tested as his plans to pay back the loan fail. When his last desperate effort to repay the debt puts his son’s life at risk, he must make a choice between his past and a second chance at life.

Director’s Statement

West of Sunshine is a story of love, free will and intergenerational trauma. It explores love not just as an idea or a feeling but as actions we must take. On this day-long journey Jim learns to let go of his own trauma of abandonment and take a second chance at life: to be a father to his son. He chooses to love and be loved. Cinematically I took inspiration from Italian Neorealist cinema, documenting the unfolding events, but also playing with that style to heighten the subtext in key moments of the film. In a disconnected society my aim for this film was to celebrate the simple but fundamental values of humanity and family.


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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema