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Melbourne International Film Festival 2012

(Undergraduate/Honours) Victorian College of the Arts Production Awards 2011



BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (Student Division) Australian Cinematography Society 2011



the victorian college of the arts presents kin a film by rudolf fitzgerald-leonard starring donn shankland rowan freeman robert morgan kristin deighton-smith associate producer joshua smith editing john tummino cinematography edward goldner production design clinton hayden sound design john kassab


technical specifications
completion date country of origin shooting format screening format running time genre language subtitles ratio sound january 2012 australia super 35mm (25fps) XDCAM + HDCAM 14:55 drama english & scottish gaelic english 16:9 (2.35:1 matte) dobly 2.0

publicity & sales

rudolf fitzgerald-leonard writer/director contact@rudolf-fl.com + 61 417 810 212



I really loved this film. All of the production elements the cinematography, the production design, the editing were flawless I thought that the performances were all really terrific, and the direction of them perfectly pitched This is the work of a very impressive filmmaker. Tony Ayres (AFI winning & BAFTA nominated director of The Slap & The Homesong Stories)

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2012 Official Selection (In Competition)
(Australian Premiere)

FESTIVAL DE CANNES 2012 Court Mtrage Short Film Corner

(International Premiere)

VICTORIAN COLLEGE OF THE ARTS PRODUCTION AWARDS 2012 Film Victoria Award For Best Film (Undergraduate & Honours) AUSTRALIAN CINEMATOGRAPHERS SOCIETY Silver Award for Best Cinematography (Student Division)

one line synopsis

Lauchlan joins his older brother amidst the snow, in search of their missing father. He will discover more than hes willing to find.
one paragraph synopsis

Lauchlan and his older brother Rory must recover their missing father from the snowy mountains. In his journey through the snow, Lauchlan will come to realise that his fathers mental health will change his family, forever.

writer & director rudolf fitzgerald-leonard

Born in Melbourne in 1990, Rudolf Fitzgerald-Leonard tells stories of personal experience through his work in film, poetry, short stories and music. His obsession with storytelling takes its origin in childhood, where international travel and experiences of discovery would mature him beyond his years. As an adolescent, Rudolf travelled with his grandfather across North America, visiting the small-town homes of his grandfathers colleagues in the oil pipeline industry. Borrowing an old camera once belonging to his elderly travel companion, Rudolf discovered an affinity with the photographic medium as he documented his travels and the people within them. Rudolf s travels would soon take him to India, as a volunteer working in an underdeveloped rural village in Rajasthan. Here he produced a collection of short stories and poetry inspired by his time in the local village. During his final years of high-school, Rudolf was involved in a serious car accident, leaving him bound to a wheelchair & facing a lengthy period of rehabiliation. He had also sustained considerable hearing damage, resulting in a severe case of tinnitus. Both experiences have irrevocably influenced him in his work ever since. In 2008, his film Bye Bye Blackbird was screened at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image as part of the V.C.E Season Of Excellence; celebrating the best films from secondary-school students throughout Victoria. This film would win Best Film at the Boorondarra Youth Film Festival. Immediately after graduating from high-school, Rudolf was one of 14 applicants accepted into the film department of Melbournes prestigious Victorian College of the Arts. He was one of very few to have been accepted straight from secondary school. At only 20 years of age, he graduated from the V.C.A, winning the Film Victoria Award for Best Film (Undergraduate & Honours) for his film KIN at the VCA Graduate Production Awards 2011. In 2012, KIN is selected to play as part of the Official Selection at the Melbourne International Film Festival and will screen in the Festival De Cannes Short Film Corner. He is currently in development for his debut feature film.

directors statement It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. e. e. cummings All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. Henry Miller With this film, I wanted to provoke a consideration for those living with mental illness in their families. In particular, I was curious to explore how a fathers declining mental-health might effect the lives of his young sons, and subsequently, what sacrifices this might force them to make.

I am drawn very closely to the subject, having undergone similar experiences within my own family. I hope and believe that my personal insight - into the challenges this family faces - strengthens the story with a tangible authenticity and sensitivity. Setting this film in the snow - a scenically brilliant, yet unforgiving atmosphere - lends enormously to the cinematic telling of the story. The landscape itself becomes another character; the tranquil void is an obstacle to overcome, yet also represents a time of change and maturing.

directors filmography chle time gutter crawler hunter through the snow, the intruder kin 2008 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011


This is a tight and beautifully constructed film... The performances are uniformly excellent. Honest, restrained, physical. The characters truly inhabit the world and we are never jolted out of it... For me, there was nothing that didnt work. Adrian Holmes (Award-winning director of The Secret Life of Us & Headland)

producer joshua smith Joshua Smith is a producer & screenwriter from New South Wales, Australia. Graduating from the Australian Film Television & Radio School in 2010 under the renowned producer John Maynard (Balibo, Romulus, My Father, The Boys), Joshua continued developing his first feature screenplay, under the guidance and mentorship of prolific writer, director & producer, Robert Connelly (The Bank, Balibo, The Slap, Romulus, My Father). His previously produced short films include V.C.A graduate Joshua Ayletts Mould (2010).

cinematographer edward goldner Ed Goldner is a young, up-and-coming cinematographer, having won numerous awards for his work in feature films, short films and music videos. In 2010, Kodak awarded him the winner of the Kodak National Film-School Competition for his work on Morning Star (Jessica Lawton). He also won the Platinum Remi for Best Cinematography at WorldFest, in Houston, Texas, for the film Walk With Them (Guy Franklin). The Australian Cinematography Society awarded Ed with both the Gold & Bronze Awards in Cinematography (Student Division) for Morning Star & Settle Down (Guy Franklin) in 2010. In 2011, Ed won both Gold & Silver Awards again, for The Grace of Others (Alexander Brunacci) & KIN (Rudolf Fitzgerald-Leonard). He recently returned from the Budapest Cinematography Masterclass, as one of a handful of cinematographers worldwide honoured to be offered the highly sought-after position. He currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. www.edwardgoldner.com

editor john tummino

John Tummino is a writer, director and editor from Melbourne, Australia. In early 2011, John represented his short film With Bad Blood at the prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival in California. He recently graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts Film School alongside peer and frequent collaborator, Rudolf Fitzgerald-Leonard. At the V.C.A. Production Awards 2011, Johns editing skills were recognised with a nomination for Best Editing for KIN, drawn from a selection of over forty graduating student-films. He is currently undertaking post-graduate studies in film-production.

sound designer john kassab

John Kassab is a multi-award winning sound designer, re-recording mixer, installation artist, electronic musician and D.J from Melbourne, Australia. In 2010 John embarked on a 3 month Winston Churchill Fellowship interviewing leading industry professionals in 8 cities across 4 continents. His fellowship report, The State of Post-Production Film Sound, has popped up in film-school teaching packs around the world; sections having been translated into many languages other than English. Later that year, he was also inducted into the prestigious Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild in Los Angeles, for his contribution to film sound. Johns recent sound work can be heard in the art installation Sweet, Sweet Galaxy at Smith Row Gallery in the U.K, in the Academy Award winning The Lost Thing (directed by Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhmann) & Ariel Kleimans Deeper Than Yesterday, which received the Kodak Award and Petit Rail dOr at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 & The Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 2011. Both films also received award recognition for their sound design and mix. His latest sound design can be heard on Justin Olsteins Adams Tallit, which recently received an Australian Academy Award Nomination for Best Short Film. John currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

The father robert morgan

Rob Morgan is an A.F.I Nominated Australian actor and has been working in feature films & television for the past 20 years. He is known for his work in John HillcoatsThe Proposition (Starring Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, John Hurt), Paul Goldmans Suburban Mayhem & Lawrence Johnstons Life (Winner of the International Critics Award, Toronto International Film Festival 1996). KIN is the second collaboration of Rob Morgan & director Rudolf Fitzgerald-Leonard (the two also worked together in Fitzgerald-Leonards short film, Gutter Crawler, 2009) and together continue to develop engaging performances that are both authentic and emotionally compelling. Rob is currently touring the United States of America, playing the role of Stoick, in the critically acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular stageshow. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.


5 frequently asked questions for writer & director rudolf fitzgerald-leonard

I believe that in Australian cinema, our vast deserts are are both outstandingly beautiful and Difficult work, but ultimately, incredibly reward- emblematic of the Australian landscape, yet are also a perilous reminder of our own insignificance ing. Whilst up on the mountain, the persistent within an indifferent landscape. I wanted to bring fog & cloud around the summit shortened our shooting day at both ends, resulting in fewer hours this same quality to the alpine regions of Victoria, which are in and of themselves, unmistakably of available light, which we used for all of our exteriors. This meant that we had to be incredibly unique. focused and efficient as we didnt have the luxury 3. Why did you choose for your characters to be of going over-time or postponing shoot dates. Scottish ex-patriates? This would have been inconceivable with a less professional and dedicated crew. This is a story of a displaced family within a The snowfall was also incredibly inconsistent. You foreign land. I was interested in exploring what would think shooting a film in the snowy regions home meant for this family in a geographical sense, and how their familial dynamics would vary of Victoria during an exceptionally cold winter might mean some bankable snow-time. Some days as their environments did. we were lucky to enjoy perfect blanketing; whilst I very definately wrote KIN with Donn others, we were sitting in the sunshine, having to (fellow V.C.A graduate and Glasgow-native, watch the continuity for previous scenes literally melt away. We had to become incredibly adaptable Donn Shankland) in mind to play the character of and innovative in how we navigated our shooting Lauchlan. His attention to the minute during his schedule around, frankly, hideous circumstances. discovery of Lauchlan defines him, to me, as a fine actor. Its a rare privelage to work with such an intuitive and commited proffesional, who is both a 2. Why the snow? pleasure to direct and to watch. As I began to write the harsh snowy environement into the screenplay, it conjured within me incred- 4. There is a strong emphasis on moments of silence and natural atmospheres in this film, ible emotional and narrative possibilities Ive not and a noticeable lack of musical score. often seen in Australian films. The certain stillness and silence associated with a winter John (sound designer, John Kassab) & I spent landscape seemed a perfect backdrop in foregrounding the very turbulent & emotionally com- weeks debating how best to truthfully reflect Lauchlans world and capture the subtleties of plex story of the brothers & their ill father. his experience. 1. What was it like shooting a film in the snow?

Writer/Director Rudolf Fitzgerald-Leonard (third from left) directing the scene.

Through a process of trial and error, we found that the more restrained we were in our design and the more selectively we chose what to hear and from what perspective from which to hear it, the more our characters had the room to breathe and exist in this film. The music played extremely loud (almost to the point of distortion) in the nightclub scene at the beginning is true of how Lauchlan would have experienced it from within the nightclub and significantly contrasts again the silence and lack of guiding musical score that will follow with the rest of the film. This silent stillness allows us to observe the gravity and immediacy of Lauchlans situation. It is my hope that the audience member, unburdened by predictable & manipulative musical cues, might respond with greater empathy to the difficult and largely unromantacised scenario before them. 5. Whats next for you? In addition to developing the script for my debut feature film, I am looking forward to taking this film to as many festivals and countries as will graciously accept me. I have high-hopes for this film internationally as well as at home.

The film reminded me of a Raymond Carver short story, and that is a high compliment indeed. Tony Ayres

cast Lauchlan Donn Shankland Rory Rowan Freeman Father Robert Morgan Gracie Kristin Deighton-Smith Neighbour James Frecheville Club Patron Christian Grant crew Production Designer Clinton Hayden Sound Designer John Kassab First Assistant Director Eric Calatayud Focus Puller Josh McKie Alexander Brunacci Clapper Loader Romilly Spiers Gaffer Benjamin Morgan Makeup Artist Georgia Single Stills Photography Kerry Leonard Production Manager Maya Kavanagh Production Assistant Rachel Ross Storyboard Artist Ilya Milstein Post Production Supervisor Gordon Lyon Colourist C.J Dobson Post Production Facility Digital Pictures Film Processing Deluxe Melbourne Telecine C.J Dobson Telecine Facility Digital Pictures Sound Mixer Peter Frost A.D.R Recordist Simon Walbrook Foley Artist Gerry Long Foley Engineer Scott Heming Foley Editor Peter Frost Sound Mixing Facility Victorian College of the Arts Editing Facility Victorian College of the Arts Camera Equipment Lemac Australia Script Consultants Stephen Cleary Ray Mooney Sue Castrique Lyn Norfor Edit Consultants Cindy Clarkson Roberta Horslie A.S.E Scottish Gaelic Translation Joan Mitchell French Translation Rmi Defert Original Score By Griffin James Catering AnneMaree Fitzgerald Zoe Kypros Erin Fitzgerald

Best Boys Johnny Maloney Writer + Director Rudolf Fitzgerald-Leonard Jack Naylor Hampson Producer Joshua M. Smith Supervising Producer Nicolette Freeman Cinematographer Edward Goldner Editor John Tummino Sound Recordist Ben Bomitali Boom Operator Tim Bathurst Art Department Assistant Sarah Phelan Continuity Russell Bywater


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rudolf fitzgerald-leonard +61 417 810 212 contact@rudolf-fl.com rudolf-fl.com www.kinshortfilm.com www. facebook.com/kinshortfilm EPK designed by rudolf fitzgerald-leonard still photography by kerry leonard