Back from Dungog

Hi crew, just returned from the pleasure of my first Dungog Film Festival. What a great event. Dungog is a very pretty town 3 hours north of Sydney on the edge of the Barrington Tops forest. It’s high country and very pretty but the vibe was terrific as classic Aussie films were screened along with new films and there were master classes and readings: including one for my screenplay. It is currently titled SISTER SISTER but we are thinking of changing it back to the original title DIRTY GIRLS. Anybody out there have a preference?

The screenplay is about two teenage twin girls who need to somehow get out of their dysfunctional relationship to move on. The feedback from the reading was terrific. I was able to listen and pick up a couple of areas that could be improved but for me the really encouraging thing was that the audience got the humour in what is at times a grungy kind of film. It is a tough film, even harrowing in parts but Andrew Lewis (director) and I have always insisted it is not bleak, so good to be proved right by those that count. We were very fortunate to have top actors reading the scrip including the gorgeous Jessica McNamee and Augusta Miller, the sexy Kelly Butler, Jacek Koman who brought an international quality and Dustin Clare who was stopped in the street by every second woman looking for an autograph.

Dustin recently played Chris Flannery in Underbelly Tale of Two Cities and Jessica is a regular in the fabulous Packed to the Rafters. I’ve been fortunate to write for her in that show too and it was a privelege to have actors of this quality in the read. Dustin and Jacek will be in the film if we get it up. Because of the reading and the planning for it I didn’t get a chance to see many films this year but I did catch The View From Greenhaven, the project Greenlight Film made this year. It is a delightful film with a lot of warmth and humour and the crowd loved it. I’ll be in Dungog next year if I can. Great fun and highly recommended.



7 Comments on Back from Dungog

  1. Just finished reading Hooray for Hollywood and am writing my review. Was pleasantly surprised. To do a bit of research thought I would look at your blog. I loved Dave Warner and the Suburbs and noted you also commented on a show on the ABC and that you guys plus Dugites weren’t mentioned. Well you don’t have to be mentioned – the people that matter remember you!!!

    Can’t remember if I ever saw you live but memories of that era are a blur of dancing and dancing and dancing to the best music ever! Lived out at Penrith and if you came to the Leagues Club there then YES I saw you. Or Parra Leagues or even Rooty Hill RSL – urgh – sound so “westie”. Loved you and Dugites – pity an ex took all my old albums and kept them! Hubby and I play our vinyls all the time and still dance, dance, dance. Let us know if you feel like visiting the Illawarra and I’ll put on my dancing feet!

    • Thanks Barbara, did a couple of Penrith gigs, in fact remember doing one FA Cup Final night of the famous 1979 game. We travelled back to the city listening to this amazing game, six of us crammed into one holden sedan. A director friend of mine at the film school at the time, Geoff Bennet, actually shot footage of the gig and kept it for years but I think it got chucked just when it would have been useful, maybe it will turn up somewhere and you’ll be there on film in a previous life. Geoff shot a number of gigs on that run and at least a few minutes survives from a`Stagedoor Tavern gig. I’m hoping to get it up on the website. If I make it to the Illawarra I want to see sparks flying off those shoes Best DW

  2. Loved the script ! I think the title Dirty Girls is not as good as Sister Sister, but I also think Brace is even better.
    Who do you have in mind to play the twins? Beautiful Kate’s Sophie Lowe would be an excellent choice.
    Hope you getting the necessary funding etc soon.
    All the Best.

  3. Sister, Sister may be the title that befits the plot the best but Dirty Girls may be the title that will sell it. You will have to figure that one out for yourself.
    Dustin Clare played a very convincing and powerful role as the homicidal nutter in Underbelly. Are you sure the women stopping him in the street only wanted his autograph. He looks nearly as good as you did at his age.

    Ole mate Sandy Harbutt didn’t happen to be at the film fest with his original 8mm copy of “Stone” that he took to Cannes did he? Another underrated genius.
    Cheers Peter.

    • Again, sorry I missed this communication. I think Stone was there but didn’t meet Sandy, don’t know many people outside my small circle. I’ve re-written Dirty Girls (yes I think that’s the title) for the last time but now need to find somebody to make it. I am finally happy with the script and it has taken me around thirty drafts to be able to say that. Appreciate the support

  4. Hi Dave,

    my brother Mick n I (dave) lived in Perth in 1976 at West Leederville. Every friday n sat night was down at the Vic dancing to your great music. Your band was probably the most authentic and energetic music going on in Perth at the time. Your songs connected with every guy n girl who were listening in. Some 35 years later I pull you up on tube and show my brother. We instantly go into a kind of spiritual reverie grooving to your sound, still so poignant and authentic.

    Surprised to hear about your jaunt to the Dungog film festival as I grew up in Maitland not far from there.
    Great to hear of your venture into writing and films.
    May your talent and insight bless us well into the future.
    Look forward to seeing you live again in the future so let us know if that will happen.

    Dave N Mick Wiles

    • David as you’ll see I hadn’t checked my blog for months and thought nobody was following me – will rectify that now. I hope you got to the Charles Hotel gig we did in October if you were in Perth. If you are ever after the music from that time you can check my website and see what I have available. Thanks again for the kind words

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