‘Sequin in a Blue Room’ (Photo credit: Nicholas Gascoine).

Writer-director Samuel Van Grinsven’s Sequin in a Blue Room is set to premiere in major overseas markets, a big achievement for the film he made as his graduate project in the Master of Arts Screen program at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in 2018.

The US and UK rights to the queer coming-of-age tale produced by AFTRS graduate Sophie Hattch have been acquired by Peccadillo Pictures, a UK-based distributor of art house, gay and lesbian, independent and world cinema.

On-demand firm Salzgeber bought the film for German-speaking markets while Optimale has the rights in French-speaking territories.

Last year it won the best narrative feature in the Sydney Film Festival audience awards and it screened at MIFF and the Mardi Gras Film Festival,

Starring Conor Leach in his film debut, Simon Croker, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor and Anthony Brandon Wong, the self-distributed film began its two-week commercial theatrical run last weekend at Dendy cinemas in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra, grossing a respectable $4,177 including the Wednesday night preview. It will open at Luna Palace in Perth on September 3.

Leach plays 16-year-old Sequin, who is exploring his burgeoning sexuality through an obsession with anonymous, no-strings sexual encounters. That’s until he finds his way into The Blue Room – a strictly anonymous, limitless sex party – where a whole new alluring world unfolds before him.

There, Sequin connects with a captivating stranger but they are separated suddenly. Fixated on this man, Sequin sets off on an exhilarating and dangerous mission to track him down.

The director tells IF he is very pleased with the exposure for the film in Australia and internationally, particularly considering the production budget was just $35,000, topped up by a $10,000 completion grant from Queer Screen. He and Hattch are negotiating a deal with an Australian streamer.

He’s now preparing his second film, a queer horror/thriller set in New Zealand, which will be an Australian-NZ co-production.

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