Curtin film and television graduate Michael Hatch recently enjoyed a star-studded hometown red carpet event for the official premiere of his award-winning debut feature film, Bitter Art.
The film’s two stars Chris Morris and Dana Rosendorff, who since filming have gone on to find success on TV’s Offspring and Glee respectively, attended and sat in with other cast and crew for a Q&A session following the film’s screening.
Filmed in Pemberton, the movie has already received international acclaim, appearing in several renowned festivals and winning awards in at the Honolulu Film Festival and Beijing International Movie Festival.
Bitter Art follows three small-town friends who aim to make a great film and all the trials and tribulations they face along the way. The genesis of the story came during the time Michael and the movie’s sound technician Owen Hughes spent studying at university.
“The idea came up in our last year at Curtin when we got rejected from a festival, so we thought we should write about being rejected,” says Michael, who wrote, directed and produced.
“We’d just filmed our final-year film, Magician, in Pemberton so we thought, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea, it’s a one-pub town and beautiful location.”
After writing a handful of scenes, Michael sat on the project for roughly 18 months before completing it in 2007.
“It’s about filmmakers per se, but it’s more about mateship and the dramas that can happen chasing dreams,” he says.
“It’s been long road, but that’s the way of independent film in WA.”
Michael says his time at Curtin has allowed him to follow his cinematic dreams, as well as prepare him for the regular challenges filmmakers are faced with.
“You learn the fundamentals of making films from all levels, and all the roles within a crew,” he said.
“I think, particularly here in WA where it can be difficult to get funding, with that skill set you can actually make a film because you know what happens with all parts of the crew and production.
“It certainly gives you that basis where you can make an indie production.”
An additional screenign of the film willl be held at Cinema Paradiso in Northbridge on Sunday, December 11. For more information visit the Bitter Art website.