The world premiere of a new Australian thriller will take place at Dendy Canberra on Sunday night - because the producer, Brian Cobb, and the lead actress, Miranda O'Hare, were both originally from Canberra. Although no longer based here they remain close to the city that produced them and have family and friends here.
Indigo Lake, written and directed by Martin Simpson, is a Sydney-set film in which artist Jack Zeffa (played by Andrew Cutcliffe) is hired by Bill Kazak (Marin Mimica) to paint a portrait of his wife Ruby (O'Hare). As Jack paints Ruby a bond develops between them and as it deepens so do the jealous Bill's suspicions.
Cobb, whose company Cobbstar Productions produced the $1.1 million film, says Simpson's script was quite different to any other Australian film he had seen.
"It had a film noir aspect I liked." he says. He is taking the film to Cannes and hopes to get it in wide release soon.
Cobb, who will be celebrating his 40th birthday on Sunday - "What a way to have a party!" - says he came relatively late to the arts. He was going to be a rugby league referee and it wasn't until a trip overseas and a part in a corporate film when he was 20 that he decided to become an actor (he's still a big fan of the Canberra Raiders). He trained at ther Australian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Sydney and had a few small parts but found himself producing plays for himself and his friends to perform in pubs and bars which drew him to the production side of the business and he studied it at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
Since then his projects have included the longrunning gay digital drama series The Horizon, which began in 2009. He joined it in 2012 and it's still running. Other upcoming projects include the virtual reality series Dream Channel and the coming-of-age story Patricia Moore. In 2016 Cobbstar won the City of Sydney's accommodation grant for the space formerly known as Metro Screen.
O'Hare acted from a young age, being part of Canberra Youth Theatre and studying at the National Acting School before gaining an agent at a showcase in Sydney when she was 19. She didn't know Cobb in Canberra but met him in 2008 when they did a play for Mardi Gras, The Unicorn and the Girl (no prizes for guessing who played who). They kept in touch and in September 2015 he told her about Indigo Lake. But her casting was not automatic.
"I did a fair few auditions - I had to fight my way to get the role. As soon as I read it. it meant so much to me," she says.
"Ruby was a real character. She resonated with me... I understood her completely."
Recently, O'Hare has been working on two international television series, Killing the Cure and Age of the Living Dead.
The premiere Q&A screening of Indigo Lake (CTC) is on at Dendy Canberra on Sunday, April 23 at 6.30pm. dendy.com.au.
The story An Aussie thriller with Canberra links premieres at Dendy first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.