Saville set to shoot relationships dramedy

Madman’s Nick Batzias and writer-director Matthew Saville have been keen to work together again since Madman released Saville’s 2003 telemovie Roy Hollsdotter Live and his 2007 crime thriller Noise.

After years of development they’ll start shooting A Month of Sundays, a comedic relationships drama starring Anthony LaPaglia, Justine Clarke, Julia Blake and John Clarke, in Adelaide on January 12.

LaPaglia plays Frank Mollard, a real estate agent whose life takes an unexpected turn when he receives a call from his dead mother, sending him on a journey of redemption. Justine is his estranged wife, with John Clarke as his boss/friend and Blake as the woman at the heart of a life-changing new relationship. Indiana Crowther plays Frank’s teenage son.

Saville, whose last feature was Felony, wrote the screenplay, inspired by his family’s experiences. It’s the first narrative feature from Madman Production Company, produced by Batzias and Kirsty Stark, who collaborated on the web series Wastelander Panda commissioned by ABC iview.

“We have always loved A Month of Sundays having been involved since script development many years ago," Batzias, who is Madman’s head of production, tells IF.

“The project had been delayed initially and the opportunity arose to come on board the project and refashion it a little. It was an opportunity too good for Matt and me to ignore.

“Development is a tricky beast to manage – you never know which projects are going to get the most impetus soonest. We were attracted to A Month of Sundays because it is a great project, not because it would necessarily be our first narrative feature. It just so happens that here we are making it.”

The investors include Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation and the Adelaide Film Festival, and Voltage Pictures is handling international sales.

Madman Productions has completed That Sugar Film, a feature-length doc directed by Damon Gameau, which investigates the health risks of the world’s most dominant food and suggests how people can live without it.

The film, which follows Gameau as he consumes the equivalent of 40 teaspoons of sugar a day, almost five times the daily recommended amount, for 60 days, will premiere in March with event screenings around Australia featuring Damon and health experts.