Look closely and you’ll see Katoomba High School library, or its steps outside, then perhaps the inside of the Station Bar or some leafy outlooks in Blackheath and Leura.
The familiar local landmarks all feature in Book Week, the latest feature film from Glenbrook director, Heath Davis, which has its premiere at The Edge on Sunday, October 21.
Davis’s first feature, Broke, which looked at gambling through a failed rugby league star, was a major success, screening around Australia as well as in several international film festivals.
Book Week, a comedy, is a much lighter look at life, said Davis.
“After the emotionally taxing experience of making a thematically heavy movie like Broke on the smell of an oily rag, I thought it would be fun, refreshing and challenging, to make something comedic as well as showcase another side to me as an artist.”
The new movie inhabits the world of English teacher and would-be novelist Nicholas Cutler (Alan Dukes), who finally sees a possibility that his work will be published.
Thinking the book deal is all but in the bag, Cutler says goodbye to his old life and resigns from teaching. All he has to do is endure one more week, which happens to coincide with the school’s annual book week festivities.
It is a week when he learns to put others first for a change: His gravely ill brother in law needs a kidney, his clucky girlfriend demands a commitment, his troubled but star basketball player is incarcerated while a misguided student teacher requires his leadership.
Davis said he wrote the script in 2010 when he, too, was a “frustrated high school English teacher doggedly trying to get his first feature film made while reluctant to accept the idea that my lifelong dream may never eventuate”.
The movie was filmed across the Mountains, using many locals as extras. It takes place in bedrooms, back yards, classrooms and dive bars, said Davis – “locales where dreams are squashed not harvested”.
The premiere is at The Edge in Katoomba on October 21 at 2.30pm.
There are also plans for screenings at Glenbrook Cinema and Mount Vic Flicks.