Thursday, 16 April 2009


The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will present a special extended run season of Acolytes, the most acclaimed Australian chiller since Wolf Creek, as part of Australian Perspectives this May.

Acolytes was first seen in Melbourne at the 2008 Melbourne International Film Festival and, after a series of successful international screenings on the festival circuit, returns to Melbourne for this limited season. ACMI Film Programmer James Nolen is excited about the film getting a wider release. "Receiving much acclaim from critics and audiences at film festivals worldwide, this exciting Aussie horror flick features plenty of screams, a rather handsome trio of troubled teenagers and Joel Edgerton as you've never seen him before," he said.

Edgerton stars as Ian Wright, a serial killer who is caught by high-school student Mark (Sebastian Gregory), filling in a trench deep in the woods. Mark, together with friends Chasely and James (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence and Joshua Payne), return to the scene to unearth what they imagine is buried cash or drugs. They uncover a body instead and after the shock subsides, decide to use their discovery to exact revenge on local thug and bully Gary Parker (Michael Dorman). To carry out their plan, they must hunt down and involve the killer, where they unwillingly find themselves lured into his violent world.

Recently having starred alongside Ben Affleck and Andy Garcia in the film Smokin' Aces, Edgerton is best known for his role as the lovable Will in the long-running successful Australian series The Secret Life of Us, as well as the role of Luke Skywalker's uncle in the second and third episodes of Star Wars.

Joel prepared for Acolytes by reading extensively about the minds of serial killers. "Despite the reading I did, so much of it is just imagination. I had license to be really nasty to people which I normally wouldn't do. I actually had a lot of fun terrorising everyone - but not too much fun to the point I'd like to keep doing it!"

Starring with Edgerton in the film is Michael Dorman (Secret Life of Us, Suburban Mayhem, Small Claims) who plays local bully and nemesis Gary Parker, and three up-and-coming young Australian stars all in their first feature roles playing the three teenagers: Sebastian Gregory (Beautiful, Elephant Princess), Hanna Mangan-Lawrence (Bed of Roses, The Square), and newcomer Joshua Payne.

Acolytes, directed by one of Australia's most successful maverick filmmakers, award-winning Director Jon Hewitt (Redball, darklovestory, Bloodlust), is the first film in the Southern Hemisphere to shoot with the Viper Filmstream HD camera. It is based on a screenplay co-created by Hewitt with S.P. Krause and Shayne Armstrong and was filmed in Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and suburbs of Brisbane. Says Hewitt, "I wanted to make a film that married strong genre elements with something a bit more ambitious and cinematic, and that didn't patronize its teenage characters".  

Acolytes is out nationally in cinemas from April 16 and is exclusive to ACMI in Melbourne. Director Jon Hewitt will join us after the 4pm screening on Sat 2 May for a Q&A.

For more information, directors notes and session times, please click here

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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