Two Western Australian screen projects were selected to be screened at the Berlinale, the 70th Berlin International Film Festival. Feature film H is for Happiness and television series Mystery Road Series Two were selected as part of the prestigious festival, which attracted tens of thousands of visitors from across the globe.
H is for Happiness explores growing up and family tragedy through humour and was selected for the Generation Kplus Programme. The films in this section focus on the diverse and challenging lives of young people from different parts of the world.
As part of the Berlinale School Project, primary and secondary school teachers from Berlin and Brandenburg integrated selected films from the Generation section of the Berlinale program into their lessons.
Regarding his experience of filming in Albany, Western Australia, H is for Happiness Director John Sheedy explained, “The seaside town of Albany was the perfect fit for this brief. It projects a sense of old-world charm in its architecture, the bay and the quirky, earthy shapes in the breathtaking landscape of boulders and hills which surround it. Albany has such a cinematic feel to it and no matter where I pointed the camera, I knew I was going to be able to frame the moment beautifully.”
Bunya Productions’ Mystery Road Series Two, which was filmed in Broome, Western Australia, premiered the first two episodes as part of the Berlinale Series program. The critically acclaimed first series drew over one point eight million viewers in Australia and was the number one show on BBC4 each week during the broadcast period.
“We are excited to have premiered Mystery Road Series Two to an international audience at the Berlinale. We expect audiences will be captivated by the extraordinary Kimberley landscapes and storylines about to unfold on their screens,” explained Greer Simpkin, Producer, Bunya Productions. “We love filming in the Kimberley and working with the WA production sector. It really was a dream shoot.”
“We are impressed and delighted that H is For Happiness and Mystery Road Series Two were selected as part of the Berlinale. This is an exceptional accolade for these Western Australian screen projects, and we understand the reception of both amazing projects at such a high profile, global event has been excellent,” said Willie Rowe, CEO of Screenwest.
H is for Happiness is still in cinemas and Mystery Road Series Two will release on ABC and iView in the very near future.