Projects selected for production investment are The Curse Of The Gothic Symphony, The 24 Hour Window and Dead Cool.
The Curse Of The Gothic Symphony, a documentary about a struggle to stage what the Guinness Book of Records says is the longest symphony ever written, will get a festival life thanks to the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
MIFF’s Premiere Fund this week offered three films production investment, also including the not-yet-financed The 24 Hour Window, a teenage brom-com directed by Nicholas Verson and produced by Ann Darrouzet, and Dead Cool, a zombie rom-com directed by Martin Wilson produced by John Tatoulis and Angie Smith.
The third, The Curse Of The Gothic Symphony, has already been in production for two years with finance from Screen Australia, Screen Queensland and ABC TV, and this new commitment means a feature-length version will now be crafted to premiere at MIFF in 2011.
The Curse Of The Gothic Symphony tells how a small group of Brisbane classical music enthusiasts has been continually thwarted in its efforts to mount a performance of British composer Brian Havergal’s Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, also known as the Gothic Symphony.
Producer Veronica Fury said there have been many aborted attempts to stage the symphony internationally, with the biggest barrier being its logistically challenging nature: it lasts two hours and requires two orchestras, four brass bands and five full choirs, in all up to 400 voices and as many as 200 players.
“It is the Mt Everest, the extreme sports, of classical music,” said Fury, who has high hopes a performance will finally go ahead in December, and be captured by director Randall Wood, who made the short film Rare Chicken Rescue, a prize winner at the 2008 Sydney Film Festival.
“If the curse strikes us and it all falls over I will get the piano player to play it,” laughed Fury, adding that it has only been performed a few times and each time it has been toned down .
Another documentary supported by the Premiere Fund and produced by Fury premieres at MIFF in July. Machete Maidens Unleashed! examines the Philippines exploitation film industry under President Marcos. Director Mark Hartley previously made the 2008 MIFF opening night film Not Quite Hollywood, which documented a particular aspect of Australia’s film industry.
The 2010 MIFF will be the third to include films in which it has invested. Included will be the documentaries Ben Lee: Catch My Disease from Amiel Courtin-Wilson and Mother of Rock from Paul Clarke, as well as the romantic comedy Kin from director Amanda Jane, the psychological thriller Blame from Michael Henry, and the family drama Matching Jack from Nadia Tass.