Dec 13, 2012

COMING ATTRACTIONS: Producers turn to LGBT community to crowd-fund Australian film about homophobic bullying

¨He had to defend himself by being violent¨

¨Meet Dean Francis and Stephen Davis who are trying to crowd-fund Drown, their hard-hitting micro-budget drama that tells the story of a heroic but homophobic Australian lifesaver to raise awareness about bullying and how young people are affected by "societal values".

Both Dean Francis and Stephen Davis have had such deep personal encounters with bullying as boys that they continue to draw on those experiences in their adult professional lives.

Francis, who is the director and co-producer of Drown, says he was so tremendously moved by Davis's acclaimed play that follows three lifesavers on a big night out when jealousy, homophobic fears and unrequited lust culminate in a tragic booze-fueled episode of bullying that he's inspired to adapt it for the big screen. One of the young men, Len, an heroic but homophobic surf lifesaver finds himself attracted to Phil, a younger, openly gay lifesaver but is unable to cope with his emotions.

Written by Glasgow-born Davis and performed by the Queensland Theatre Company in 2001, Drown was inspired by the playwright's experiences as a 14-year-old boy who witnessed a male friend being stripped and humiliated by group of older male friends but was afraid to try to stop the attack.

Francis says he looks back at his time in school with "utter terror" as bullying was a daily occurrence at his all-boys school. He had to defend himself by being violent. His 2005 controversial but powerful short film Boys Grammar about school-yard violence and intimidation had Australia talk about the issue of bullying in schools...¨
please read it  all,

Thanks to Sylvia Tan
Thanks to Fridae Asia, sidebar
Thanks to Dean Francis and Stephen Davis

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