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Ruby Connection exclusive screening of JASPER JONES with Rachel Perkins
01 February 2017
Exclusive Opening night for Ruby
Rachel Perkins has a new movie coming out. Jasper Jones, based on Craig Silvey novel of the same name, launches on March 2 and Ruby is holding an exclusive preview for members in Sydney at the Dendy Opera Quays. We are also lucky enough to have Rachel at the event to chat about her film and answer questions.
Rachel Perkins’ (below) Australian Aboriginal heritage has informed her entire filmmaking career. She founded Australia’s premier Indigenous production company Blackfella Films in 1992, and has contributed extensively to the development of Indigenous filmmakers and, more broadly, to the Australian film and television industry.
Born in Canberra in 1970, Rachel is the daughter of Charles and Eileen Perkins and granddaughter of Hetty Perkins. Rachel has Arrernte, Kalkadoon and German ancestry. Her sister is Hetti Perkins, an art curator.
Rachel has directed four feature films: Radiance, One Night the Moon, the musical Bran Nue Dae which screened at the Sundance, Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals, and her forthcoming release, Jasper Jones, which stars Toni Collette, Aaron McGrath and Hugo Weaving, among others.
The tale goes a little like this: “Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1960s, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of 13, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress.
“Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it is here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper's horrible discovery.”
Rachel told Steve Dow in an interview for The Saturday Paper a bit about what motivates her now: “I’ve made a lot of what people might call political films, with social-political contexts,” says Perkins…
“But the adaptation of this book is a departure: it’s very much a piece of entertainment, with a murder-mystery being the hook, but also the light and shade and the humour. It’s delightful material, and that’s why the book connected to a big audience…
“In the film, we don’t even go into Jasper’s position in society. In fact, we don’t even mention that he’s Aboriginal. We just don’t want to bang people over their heads about that. A lot of people understand there was discrimination, and still is in some ways, against Aboriginal people. A lot of my work has been about explaining,” she says, laughing. “If you don’t get it, just refer to previous films.
“All that explaining has been about being on the inside of an Indigenous world, and other people not having that opportunity to understand that. That’s what’s influenced my filmmaking to date. And I feel like I’m getting to the end of that process.”
In 2012 Rachel directed the telemovie Mabo for ABC1. Between 2012 and 2014 Rachel directed three episodes and a telemovie of the landmark television drama series Redfern Now for the ABC for which she received the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Award for Best Direction in a TV Drama Series in 2013, 2014 and again in 2016.
Rachel also wrote, directed and co-produced the seven-hour documentary series for SBS First Australians (2009), and in 2014 she completed the documentary Black Panther Woman which premiered at the Sydney Film Festival.
To book your tickets for Jasper Jones, click here.