Damien Giglietta makes every dollar count in his debut feature

‘TKG: The Kids of Grove.’

If there is a more efficient model for producing a micro-budgeted film than the one writer-director Damien Giglietta employed on his first feature, it’s hard to imagine.

Giglietta shot the crime thriller TKG: The Kids of Grove in 23 days, spread between August and October last year to accommodate the schedule of his DOP George Davis, who was shooting Foxtel/Network 10’s Gogglebox.

He kept a tight lid on costs by drawing on the resources of Fusion Entertainment Group, which includes studios and performers and music academies, where he is the director of operations (currently on a sabbatical as he finishes the film).

Damien, Davis and Peter McIntosh, his partners in 88 to 1 Productions, self-funded the upfront production budget of $80,000 and then spent a further $28,000 on post including the original score by Jeenyis.

He figures the production will break even after it generates revenues of just $194,000, which may be easily gettable as the international sales agent, LA-based Multivisionnaire Pictures, is negotiating deals after the American Film Market premiere.

Execs at the LA firm contacted Giglietta after seeing the film’s trailer online and agreed to take on sales after several Skype meetings.

The producers – Giglietta, Bre Sims and Leigh Smith – are holding back the Australian rights in hopes that they will get more leverage after a US deal is signed.

‘TKG: The Kids of Grove.’

The filmmaker got the idea after thinking about a building which is taken over by a community group. Hence the plot unfolds over one night in a secluded office building occupied by the Wright property firm, which is preparing to open the Grove Street Project after evicting public housing tenants.

Enter a group known as the TKG (The Kids of Grove), comprising young members of the community who had been abandoned and grew up without guidance until they met their leader Jonti.

Mick Preston plays property boss Nicholas Wright with Maria Velletri as his team leader Marissa and Mark Casamento as Jonti.

The cast includes Amy Gubana, Madeline Davies, Justin Zouriakas, Joanna Sakkas and Henry Torres.

“I wanted to create a story that showcases the similarities more than the differences between people from different socio-economic classes and to showcase the survival instincts that kick in no matter what class you come from,” he says.

“Reaction to circumstance is a big theme in this project and how we will all do whatever it takes to stand by and protect the ones we care about.”

While he would love to get a theatrical release here he acknowledges the harsh realities of the independent marketplace, noting: “A streaming platform like Stan would be great.”