Megan Riakos, the writer, producer and director of Crushed, will open Yamba Cinema’s international film festival on Thursday June 9 – the festival runs until June 15.
Crushed, which is a mystery murder thriller set in a Mudgee vineyard, has screened at film festivals around the world; The Hollywood Reporter called it “a solid debut” and The Australian said: “Crushed, a new independent Australian feature that is one of the most wine-centric movies ever made – as well as being a tense, bloody mystery thriller.”
Riakos says of the film in her press kit that she was “looking for a story that would embody a strong genre that could be achieved as an independent film, while also allowing me to explore complex relationships and community dynamics in an interesting way”.
She says her film was inspired by the likes of The Killing, Top of the Lake, What lies Beneath, Winter’s Bone, Prisoners and Lantana.
“What kicked it all off was the amazing doco, The Staircase, about a man accused of his wife’s murder,” she says.
“Every single person in Crushed has something to hide. They are all guilty, even if it isn’t of the murder that kicks the film off.
“…Crushed strives to both entertain the audience, taking them on a thrilling ride towards revealing the identity of the killer, while also striking an emotional impact with the audience with the deeply flawed but empathetic characters they meet on the way.”
Meanwhile, Clarence Valley Women Inc (CVWI), which in the past has organised a women’s film festival each year, is sponsoring the opening night of festival.
“We jumped at the chance to be able to promote women in film, even without a whole festival devoted to women film makers,” says CVWI’s president, Susan Howland.
“CVWI is contributing to the travel and accommodation costs for Megan.
“It is a wonderful chance for local people to hear directly from Megan about the writing and making of this film.”
Details regarding the rest of the festival will be published in next week’s Independent.