Andrew Walsh and Roberto Chuter dive into ‘How Deep is the Ocean’

Andrew Walsh rehearsing a scene with Will Weatheritt.

Producer Roberto Chuter and writer-director Andrew Walsh are preparing to shoot How Deep is the Ocean, a tragicomic feature about a troubled young woman who is purified by the ocean.

Due to shoot in Melbourne in April and budgeted at about $1 million, the film will star Will Weatheritt, Ryan Bown and Richard Aspel.

The role of the protagonist Eleanor, a mysterious young woman who arrives in Melbourne with the clothes on her back, little money and a past she’d rather forget, will be cast in the next few weeks.

Living in a broken-down boarding house on the outskirts of the city, she works in a series of dead-end jobs.

Weatheritt, whose credits include James Pentecost’s crime comedy Broken Contract, True Story with Hamish & Andy and Utopia, plays Matt, a hopeless romantic and sensitive soul.

After crossing paths with the impulsive and naïve Eleanor, he is convinced he’s finally found the relationship he had long wanted but as they get closer, complications arise.

The UK-based Bown (Home and Away, Clare McCann’s feature Benefited), plays Charlie, Eleanor’s married neighbour who is attracted to her.

The son of British broadcaster Michael Aspel, Richard Aspel (Insomnia City, Neighbours) is Roy, once a world famous stand-up comedian whose alcoholism has cost him his marriage, his house and access to his seven-year-old daughter. After being released from prison Roy, a resident of the boarding house, befriends Eleanor.

The crew for Walsh’s debut feature includes co-producer Daniela Ercoli, associate producer Dia Taylor, cinematographer Kuran Dhillon, casting director Lucy Jones and intimacy director Beverley Anne Foster.

Guillym Davenport and Phoebe Jakober in ‘A Beautiful Request.’

Meanwhile Chuter is in post on his second feature as director, A Beautiful Request, adapted by Alex Broun from his plays Half A Person: My Life As Told By The Smiths and November Spawned A Monster; Chuter directed both stage productions.

VCA graduate Guillym Davenport plays William, who is burdened by a quarter-life crisis and middle-class ennui; his only relief is extended binges of the band The Smiths with his only friend, famous playwright Nick.

When William finds love in the mysterious Salome, his relationship with Nick is tested and William is faced with a life-changing request. Years later, the screenwriter of this story, Alex, comes to terms with the real loss through the intervention of his daughter.

Lee Mason plays Nick, a character based on the late playwright Nick Enright, with William Emmons as Alex, Phoebe Jakober as Salome, Amy Leigh Raffe as Alex’s daughter Sophie and US actress Jane Badler as William’s mother. Richard Aspel is theatre director George Ogilvie.

German sales agent/distributor Media Luna New Films, which acquired Chuter’s debut feature The Dream Children, will handle worldwide distribution outside Australia.