Words: Matt Innes
Independent filmmaker Graham Streeter has picked up three coveted awards at this year’s Sydney Indie Film Festival for his latest piece of compelling cinema, ‘I May Regret’.
The picture was awarded Best Director (Graham Streeter), Best Actress (Lisa Goodman) and Best Film Score (Joshua Loell), with Graham extending the honours to the full cast and crew.
‘I May Regret’ is a harrowing journey through one woman’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, drawing her into a tangled web of disjointed memory and reality.
For Graham and his production company Imperative Pictures, the story came from a need to address prevalent issues facing society as we head towards an increasingly uncertain future.
“We always do a lot of homework about what is going to be the imperative issues of our times as we go forward,” Graham explains.
“So it was more than apparent when we were asking that question for the next film that dementia and Alzheimer’s is an issue that going to be around for a long time. It’s something that people need to learn about and something that I as a filmmaker, or as an individual, felt I didn’t know enough about, and so these are always great formulas for me to be inspired to do the homework, research and learn as a person the gravity of this kind of issue. That inspired me to write the story, as a result of the research.”
The film stars Lisa Goodman as Ruth, an elderly woman suffering from dementia who is convinced her young live-in nurse is scheming to kill her and steal her fortune. However, all is not as it seems and people aren’t always who we think they are, and Ruth struggles with distinguishing what’s real from the sins of her own past.
“The one very fascinating part to me was not just the classic memory loss in Alzheimer’s,” Graham says.
“Memory loss is one thing but one of the very prominent attributes or ailments of Alzheimer’s is dementia itself, which is usually in the form of hallucinations and confusion and a mashup of memories that are left.
“You’re caught between current time and past time, you’re in a state of delusion and confusion; what does that feel like? What’s really going on inside that head that we don’t see from the outside?”
Graham premiered ‘I May Regret’ in Australia at the Sydney Indie Film Festival and says that for filmmakers who work outside the sphere of Hollywood – and consequently without the multi-million dollar budgets and star-power of big-name celebrities – indie film festivals are essential vehicles for distributing quality content that audiences wouldn’t normally have the chance to see.
“It’s really a thrill to bring the film overseas to a completely different region of the world and share it with a new audience,” he says.
“Hopefully these types of film festivals… allow for the filmgoer to develop a new palette for the indie film and an appreciation for the art of filmmaking versus the commercialising [sic] – the ‘McBurgers’ and big blockbuster pieces that sometimes appear to be nothing more than a piece of content to bring dollars to the studio.
“Indie filmmakers aren’t about the dollar; we’re about making story and bringing it to an audience, and it’s art typically.”
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