Aussie debut Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites in Slamdance Competition

Alvin's Harmonious World of Opposites.

Australian filmmakers are largely missing in action at Sundance this year.

Fortunately that's not the case at Slamdance, Sundance's younger sibling, which runs concurrently in Park City. 

Slamdance will screen Sydney-shot The Tail Job, the debut of Bryan Moses and Daniel Millar, as well as Alvin's Harmonious World of Opposites, a charmingly batty surreal comedy from first-timer Platon Theodoris.

Both will screen in Slamdance's Competition.

Alvin stars Sydney-based artists Teik-Kim Pok and Vashti Hughes, as well as Indonesian gospel-queen Dessy Fitri, and was shot in Sydney, Kalgoorlie and Jakarta. 

Slamdance's programmer, Aaron Marshall, describes it thus:

"Alvin hasn’t left his tiny apartment in 18 months. He’s holed up, hiding from the stressful outside world behind a collection of stuffed pandas and vintage knickknacks. But no matter how hard he tries, society’s chaos keeps oozing back in. Part grounded comedy, part magical allegory, Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites reifies the complex human psyche into a skillful narrative tale. It’s funny, tight, and doesn’t follow the formulaic tropes you’d expect. Plus it’s amazing to look at; the set design could be an art exhibition. Even if you’re a terrified recluse like Alvin, this movie is worth leaving your apartment to see."

Alvin's Harmonious World of Opposites.

Theodoris studied at the University of NSW before going on to a career making music videos and shorts. Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites is his first feature film, and premiered at last year's 18th Revelation Perth International Film Festival. 

Revelation's Director, Richard Sowada, believes the film "heralds a great new talent and can certainly take the title of one of the most unusual Australian films of recent years."

The inspirations for Alvin are myriad, according to its director:

"The film was inspired by the regular drop in meditation class at my local Buddhist Centre in Sydney, an obsessive-collector partner, Fritjof Capra’s book The Tao of Physics and by a very intense provocateur father. I didn’t set out to make such a personal film but now that it’s finished it’s become more obvious that some of the themes and characters in the film do represent many aspects of my own life, or stuff I’ve struggled with in the past like anxiety and obsessive thoughts".

The film screened at last year's Sydney Underground Film Festival, where it won the Director's Choice Award. 

Alvin's Harmonious World of Opposites.

Now it's set to bow in North America, and Theodoris is excited about its prospects:

"Since the lineup was announced some big name American distributors have been circling the film and we're currently in negotiations for a wider distribution deal. Some of the team are heading to Park City in Utah for the festival and to the negotiating table." 

A limited theatrical release will comprise special event screenings at The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne and Riverside Parramatta and The Golden Age Cinema in Sydney. Screenings will include Q and As with the filmmakers, and are confirmed for late March to late April.

Watch the trailer here.