Red Obsession a tasty number at Oz cinemas

Red Obsession co-director and co-writer David Roach says he made the documentary on power, passion and the Bordeaux fine wine industry as much for people like himself- a non-wine buff- as for those who love the stuff.

Judging by the opening weekend take of $92,000 at 18 cinemas last weekend, the docu is appealing to both segments of the audience.

That’s a solid number which Roach believes will help create a platform for DVD and TV sales and Video-on-Demand platforms.

Roach, who co-directed and co-wrote the film with the producer Warwick Ross, said the first weekend total is “better than we expected,” noting that it’s “always risky when you open a documentary on the big screen.”

The filmmaker is full of praise for distributor Roadshow Films, stating, “They have given us the screens we wanted – the best art house cinemas in each capital city- and have been very supportive.”

Narrated by Russell Crowe, the film also looks at China's burgeoning socio-economic growth and lust for all things luxurious – including wine. Ross said, "I'm so pleased that a documentary about China and Bordeaux, made by Aussies, is performing so well in its home country."

Sell-out screenings at the Sydney and Melbourne film festivals helped create awareness and generated glowing reviews. The producers are heartened by feedback from exhibitors, typified by Michael Smith, owner of the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, Victoria, who said, “Red Obsession is my favourite film of the year, beautifully filmed and cinematic it looks and sounds gorgeous up on the big screen. So much more than a documentary about wine, it is an amusing yet poignant observation of the changing cultures of Europe and Asia and the aspirations of new versus old wealth.”

The film will be released by Filmbuff in North America next month at 12 cinemas in key cities including New York, Toronto, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and day-and-date on VoD.

A cinema release is set for October in Scandinavia and it’s been booked into a number of international festivals, having had its world premiere in Berlin and also screened at the Tribeca festival in New York.