809 Jacob Street, by Marty Young
After The Bloodwood Staff, by Laura E. Goodin
The Art of Effective Dreaming, by Gillian Polack
Bad Blood, by Gary Kemble
Black City, by Christian Read
The Black Crusade, by Richard Harland
The Body Horror Book, by C. J. Fitzpatrick
Clowns at Midnight, by Terry Dowling
Dead Europe, by Christos Tsiolkas
Devouring Dark, by Alan Baxter
The Dreaming, by Queenie Chan
Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead, by Robert Hood
Full Moon Rising, by Keri Arthur
Gothic Hospital, by Gary Crew
The Grief Hole, by Kaaron Warren
Hollow House, by Greg Chapman
My Sister Rosa, by Justine Larbalestier
Path of Night, by Dirk Flinthart
The Last Days, by Andrew Masterson
Lotus Blue, by Cat Sparks
Love Cries, by Peter Blazey, etc (ed)
Netherkind, by Greg Chapman
Nil-Pray, by Christian Read
The Opposite of Life, by Narrelle M. Harris
The Road, by Catherine Jinks
Perfections, by Kirstyn McDermott
Sabriel, by Garth Nix
Salvage, by Jason Nahrung
The Scarlet Rider, by Lucy Sussex
Skin Deep, by Gary Kemble
Snake City, by Christian D. Read
The Tax Inspector, by Peter Carey
Tide of Stone, by Kaaron Warren
The Time of the Ghosts, by Gillian Polack
Vampire Cities, by D'Ettut
While I Live, by John Marsden
The Year of the Fruitcake, by Gillian Polack
OTHER HORROR PAGES
Directed by Rowan Woods (1998)
The Boys is one of the great dramatic films produced in Australia, the feature debut of Rowan Woods who went on to do Little Fish. Here we present the Press Kit from our archives, created for an American release. Also see out review of the film.
David WenhamAustralian Film Institute (Academy) Awards
Best DirectorFilm Critics' Circle of Australia Awards
Best FilmRunning Time 86 minutes; Rated R
Dolby Sound; 1.85:1
SynopsisStephen Sewell's searing adaptation of Gordon Graham's notoriously successful 1991 play of the same name, THE BOYS drew blunt admiration in its world premiere at the 1998 Berlin Film Festival, where Variety touted its "extraordinary performances" in an unflinching, "corrosive depiction of the banality of evil."
Brett Sprague (David Wenham) returns to an uneasy homecoming, after a year served in prison — unvisited — on a deadly assault charge. He's a collapsed nova of a man, dangerously manipulative at close range, but too easily forgotten when he's taken out of his family's orbit. During the year's neglect, he has been repressing anger, fermenting sexual doubt and frustration, as well as a poisonous suspicion of the girlfriend and family who construct his minor universe. Changes in the familial order only heighten his alienation. Youngest brother Stevie (Anthony Hayes) and pregnant girlfriend Nola (Anna Lise) have been sharing Brett's room and bed. Passive brother Glenn (John Polson) has fallen under the fortunate domination of his stable and ambitious wife, Jackie (Jeanette Cronin); and their single mom Sandra (Lynette Curran) has taken up with the docile but attentive Maori, George (Pete Smith), derogatively referred to by the sons as "Abo." Increasing the distance between how things are from the way they were before Brett's incarceration, is tart girlfriend Michelle (Toni Collette), whose direct, aggressive lust is painfully underscored by Brett's post-prison failure to respond physically to it. Matters are made worse when an ill wind of paranoia blows in when Brett discovers that a hidden cache of drugs has been pillaged during his turn at hard time.
Set among the poverty and struggle of working-class Sydney, THE BOYS is a raw discovery of what happens when the former "alpha" male Brett employs a dangerously narrow option to reassert his control over this unanchored family. "We are the gods of the worlds we create," he warns his brothers. As it suspensefully intercuts between his first day home and the future he sets in motion, THE BOYS looks through a glass darkly at Brett's insidiously ruinous influence and the broken fate it visits upon the Spragues.
About the StoryTHE BOYS opens with the foreboding of dark travel — a grainy open road at night with the cautionary yellow lane divider as the only map. Jumping to the interior of an empty home, the camera introduces its absentee occupants through a sweep of the landscape of their world — the blank face of a cheap television crowned with retro "rabbit ear" antennae, empty clothes hangers, a pillaged metal locker, stark lamps, grimy light fixtures, and faded wall paper offset by flat garish paint. Empty because THE BOYS starts at the end... in the night of the day that Brett Sprague came home from prison.
Paroled after a year on a deadly weapons assault charge, Brett Sprague (David Wenham) waits in the rain outside the penitentiary fence with a squat rector-set coffee table he's made for his mother in the prison shop, and a single cigarette he carries around like a latent fuse. When his youngest brother Stevie (Anthony Hayes) finally arrives, Brett strangles the car's compact interior with a taut observation that no one had visited him in prison. Past the industrial landscape on the route home, Brett learns that Stevie has appropriated Brett's bedroom for himself and his pregnant girlfriend, that middle brother Glenn (John Polson) is now married to the girlfriend Brett remembers as bourgeois and patronizing, and that their mother Sandra (Lynette Curran) now shares their home with her lover — a gentle Maori half-breed named George (Pete Smith). An overpowering force in the flesh, Brett's been too easily forgotten — and too easily ignored — during his turn at hard time. When he volunteers "I thought about you," it's a double-edged sword containing both a confession and a warning.
At the tract house they call a home, Brett padlocks the driveway gate, while the petite bottle-blond Sandra leaves her laundry line to greet the "alpha" of her prodigal sons home. It's a tentative greeting, abbreviated by Sandra's volley of Brett to Michelle (Toni Collette), the openly carnal girlfriend who has awaited Brett's return clothed in a mini- skirt, a costume-jewellery barrette he'd given her, and a perpetual state of heat. When Sandra fails to respond to Brett's unremarkable coffee table, her feeble apology reveals a mother haunted by a Janus curse to both love and fear her children. Brett sulks into his room — more of a twin bed, a metal locker and an alien poster sandwiched between walls - and discovers that a secret cache hold, hollowed from a hidden copy of Moons of Infinity, has been raided in his absence. Turning his paranoia on Michelle, he sabotages her attempt at seduction with a tasteless skewer of her fidelity.
Glenn arrives in a new car with his career-minded wife, Jackie (Jeanette Cronin), who has scheduled little more than a brief interlude before they continue on to work. After the immediate family poses for photographs (clowning the patina of a joyful family reunion for the camera), everyone migrates into the kitchen and are immediately pulled down by the undertow of Brett's deft observation that no one visited him in prison. The uncomfortable silence is relieved by Nola (Anna Lise); the fragile and visibly pregnant waif that stands out in their crowd like a changeling. A relative stranger to the household, she's not old enough to share Michelle's cynicism, and not smart enough to follow Sandra's tactical evasions of her sons. Early in the afternoon, Brett emerges from the bathroom as Sandra's employer Nick (Sal Sharah) picks up a box of the handmade party favours she fashions for him as piecework. Pampered and spoiled, Brett undermines Sandra's appeal to Nick for more work and, having drawn so much attention, now forces his mother to indulge the fiction that he's been "away on holiday."
The brothers cluster in a bathroom the colour of pepto bismol, baiting Stevie about Nola while he stands at the urinal. Having disarmed them with humour, Brett shifts into pulling male rank, menacing Glenn and Stevie with the mettle they would lack to defend themselves in prison. The psychological bait-and-switch is a gauntlet he throws down and dares them to challenge. Under Brett's manipulations, Stevie begins to insult Nola, and Glenn postpones Jackie's departure with a beer run financed by her pocketbook and commandeered in their new car. Behind the wheel, Brett careens toward the Fife and Drum Drive-In Bottle Shop, a convenience store that sells beer, gas and a few other things they can't exactly advertise in the window. The Fife and Drum is the scene of the crime that landed Brett in jail - where he attacked the proprietor, Graham Newman (Peter Hehir), with a screwdriver and Newman retaliated with a hunting knife that cost Brett quite a bit of blood and a spleen. It may also be where Brett's amateur-hour brothers failed to cover his back when their crime enterprise went awry; and revisiting the scene also revives the spectre of their betrayal. After Newman and Brett engage in a snarling dance of male posturing, the three brothers retreat home for lunch with a fresh supply of beer. Back in the kitchen, Jackie's slow burn is in full backdraft. She berates Glenn for taking the car she pays for, criticizes the family for their submission to Brett's whims, and calls him for the thug he is. Glenn wilts under her tirade, weakly defending his brother — but he utterly fails to come to her defence when Brett retaliates with a scalding verbal dissection. The hostilities are cut short by police at the door, responding to a harassment complaint by Newman. While Brett and Sandra appease the constables at the front door, Jackie alone retreats through the back, and takes off in her sporty car.
With Jackie gone, the boys lounge about the house, drinking beer and watching television. Brett questions Stevie about the missing stash, argues with Glenn about his ambitious wife, and humiliates Michelle. Under Brett's growing rule, the house is polarized into gender zones of neutrality — the men where Brett wants them to be, and the women clustered somewhere else. In the kitchen, a terrified Nola pleads to leave and the entire family is drawn into the debate. Stevie torments her with an accusation that the child could be anyone's "down at the Fife and Drum'; Sandra blindly refuses to acknowledge there is something to fear; and Michelle begins to realize that in her naiveté, Nola is probably the most perceptive of them all. While George sits out back with the family dog, Brett exercises an astonishingly seductive charm. Speaking softly, hypnotically, he promises Nola he'll take care of her.
In the ebb of the afternoon, Stevie reads comic books aloud to Glenn, who finally worries he should be at work. After a corridor squabble with Brett, Michelle encounters Sandra, laying back on her bed with a cheap ornamental fan (the only gift she ever received from Brett's father). Sandra's bedroom is a chaos of pink frills; a girlish fortress of denial that Michelle invades with a prediction of trouble. In another room, Brett ratchets up the tension with his recollection of the caper-gone-bad at the Fife and Drum. Stevie drowns out conversation with a wave of stereophonic heavy metal. Michelle watches as Sandra attempts to restore order, and her sons deflect her with drunken laughter and a dance. Disgusted and half-way out the door, Michelle is stopped short by Brett's libido. Having deflected her advances all day, he urgently demands "it" now and wants it in the ugliest spot on the premises. In the dirty laundry shed out back, Michelle does a sexual full-court press, making Brett's flaccid response all the more emasculating. The only match for Brett, Michelle taunts him with accusations of prison sex and he lashes out with physical violence. She breaks free of him, leaving a barrette and a skein of her hair in his hand. While inside the house, Michelle's screams have prompted Nola to call the police.
Between waiting on her sons and waiting for the other shoe to drop, Sandra doesn't realize Michelle has left. Brett renews his indoctrination of his brothers — slandering Glenn's wife and his attempts at a minimum-wage life, and dispensing a dog-eat-dog philosophy through a jumbled filter of science fiction. His sermon is interrupted by the police, responding to calls of a woman screaming. While Sandra does what she does most and best (covering up), Brett slams the door in their face. Watching the cops retreat, Sandra questions Brett about Michelle. When he ignores her, she calls him a liar.
Jackie calls Glenn from her car phone, and he furtively sneaks from the house to a side street where she's parked. Inside the car, she pleads with him to come with her, on the stipulation that he disassociate from his brothers. When he refuses, she leaves him for the last time.
Inside Brett's room, Nola collects her things on the pretence of doing the laundry. Brett enters the room, ferally pacing the room, and calmly stroking her to admit that she called the police. Cornered and terrified, she confesses with little resistance.
By nightfall, the ennui of the house has bred an invisible tension. Nola's clothes hangers are empty. All of their women have gone, save for Sandra who has nowhere to go. She spots Michelle's barrette, tangled in a clutch of her hair, and finally lashes out against her sons. George, who has carefully negotiated the sidelines all day, enters the fray and the boys unite in beating him.
Juiced on a full day's accumulation of beer, the boys seem to have outgrown the house. Their women have escaped from or abandoned them, and the noose of Brett's control over them grows tighter. Brett picks the weak moment, and accuses a non-resistant Glenn of stealing the hidden stash to bankroll a down-payment on his wife's fancy car. He has once again ascended to leader of his minor pack, dispensing drugs, and emancipating them from the claustrophobia of the house. They drive aimlessly through the industrial park ghettoes of West Sydney, barely noticing Nola who's hitchhiking her way out of town. Low on gas, they park near a bus stop, and contemplate their criminal possibilities while Brett anoints them gods of the worlds they create. He sees her before they do, takes out a cigarette... and lights the match.
About The ProductionIn 1991, 22-year old upstart, Robert Connolly, launched a stage play by Gordon Graham titled "The Boys," which was inspired by (but not specifically based upon) the real-life rape and murder of a young Sydney nurse by three brothers. The play avoided clinical distance, and went straight to the gut of men for whom violence is the ultimate show of human significance, and to the heart of the women who love and fear them. It also went straight to the passions of critics and audiences, who either unequivocally lauded the stark realism of the work or condemned the artists for making it.
From an initial run-through in 1990 at the Australian National Playwrights Conference, and through its debut run at the Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney, "The Boys" conjured rave reviews, broke box office records and ultimately won the prestigious AWGIE (Australian Writers Guild Award) for Best New Australian Play, and an Australian Critic's Circle Award for Best Direction. With this impressive collection of accolades and honours — and the unflagging support of David Wenham (the revered actor who first originated the lead role of 'Brett" on stage) - Connolly would spend the next several years transferring "The Boys" to the screen. "I saw the story as a Mean Streets for the suburbs," offers Connolly. "It is driven by an extraordinary protagonist, whose psychology is as fascinating for an audience as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver or David Thewlis' Johnny in Naked."
At the same time "The Boys" was electrifying the Sydney stage, Rowan Woods was testing the borders of experimental film at art school. The holder of three university degrees was also an avid Hitchcock devotee, and wanted to segue from short to feature films, but a peculiar eccentricity of the Australian motion picture industry requires aspiring directors to first secure a film school degree. At the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School, Woods met and developed a close camaraderie with Connolly, the hot young stage producer who, like Woods, was making a move into film. Following graduation, Woods supported himself both as a director (in demand as a director of commercials and television dramas) and as a professional actor (see him in Peter Duncan's Children of the Revolution as Judy Davis' assailant), while Connolly catapulted into film (as the associate producer on All Men Are Liars), under the tutelage of legendary producer John Maynard (Sweetie, An Angel at My Table, Loaded and The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey, among others).
To re-tailor the stageplay into a script, the filmmakers engaged writer Stephen Sewell, who developed the female roles beyond the play's soliloquy structure and expanded the character's dialogue and physical landscape. Wenham's reputation proved a valuable asset in locking commitments from Lynette Curran (who also originated the role of Sandra, the boys' mother, onstage), John Polson (who would receive an AFI Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as "Glenn," the middle brother), and one of Australia's most talented contemporary exports, Toni Collette (Muriel's Wedding, The Pallbearer, and upcoming in The Sixth Sense opposite Bruce Willis). Against the tide ("The script offended a lot of people," remembers Connolly), The Boys was financed through a gumbo of coin from U.K. sales agent Axiom Films, and the Australian concerns Footprint Films, the Premium Movie Partnership, SBS Independent, and the Australian Film Commission.
The production's modest budget afforded only a five-week shoot, a time handicap the filmmakers overcame through extensive rehearsals on the constructed set (of the Sprague home's interior) that is the film's principal location, and storyboarding. "Improvisation happened primarily during rehearsal," says Woods. "By the end of that rehearsal we had all but locked off the blocking, and any subtle variations from the original script were recorded to the syllable."
Woods marvels at his fortune to have cast his first choice for each character. Wenham's commitment was particularly persuasive, and his portrayal of Brett on stage had already become the stuff of myth among Australia's acting community. "I've certainly never been in the same room as anything that comes close to the intensity and dramatic force he delivers," observes the director. On the strength of the script, the reputation of the underlying work, and the indefatigable enthusiasm of production, one-by-one, the actors lent their commitment — including Toni Collette, who had by that time become an international sensation as the star of Muriel's Wedding. Unbeknownst to the filmmakers — whose first and only choice for "Michelle" was Collette — the gutsy actress (herself a native of western Sydney suburbs where the film is set) had been tracking the project from its stage debut.
In addition to its ensemble of breathtaking performances, THE BOYS is distinguished by the ingenuity of its camera work (temporal and chronological shifts signalled by hand-held or tripod shots, milking emotional chaos by pulling into focus on-screen, or locking the present into sharp 35mm while the foreboding future is sewn into the pixilated fabric of compressed video; and its unconventional use of "flash-forwards" as shadowy predictions of a culminating, depraved act). "We combined the present tense with that fragmentary, mysterious nature of the flash- forwards as a source of relentless tension," explains Woods, "as well as providing story resolution for the boys' mother, Sandra. Mind you, I didn't refrain from using music to create a sense of foreboding about the crime we never see." In a film that so assiduously dispenses with artifice in favour of an unadorned psychological offensive, THE BOYS benefits from calculated use of a more elusive element — "Silence is great," proclaims Woods. "It's a very under-rated device. Plus, it was a useful strategy to put across the fear that a lot of women experience in the dramatic space - particularly when they know that violence is brewing."
Despite the industry's rule of matching first-time directors with experienced department heads, the iconic John Maynard fully supported Connolly and Woods in their assemblage of a creative team who — like Connolly and Woods — were each making their maiden voyage in feature motion pictures as principal players. "The creative team behind THE BOYS formed at AFTRS, and includes Tristan Milani as DOP [director of photography] and Nick Myers as Editor," shares Connolly. "We see ourselves as a Trainspotting-like team model, and our future projects will continue to bring this creative team together." Their collective history is perhaps responsible for the unusually collaborative mechanism of the production. "On THE BOYS," shares Woods, "I could play with the camera because Tristan knew my language and I knew his. Nick Myers [editor] also contributed every day with ideas for shots." In experimenting with and redefining the general rules of production, the team produced a film that went on to garner an unprecedented 13 Australian Film Institute (Academy) Award nominations, from which they won four (Best Director, Best Screenplay Adaptation, Best Supporting Actor (for John Polson), and Best Supporting Actress (for Toni Collette).
Finally, and probably just as influential in the arc of THE BOYS is its position at the masthead of new "social-realist" cinema Down Under, and the film's reluctance to offer pat theories about how society creates such men as Brett Sprague. A virtual cipher of a statistic in the outside world, he is the hyperbolic bad influence in the narrow confines of his family's home — dividing and conquering, distilling a gender conflict that has no life without him, and making even his most sensitive gestures menacing and fearsome. "We were extremely rigorous in script development to guard against any single reason for Brett's behaviour dominating the story," explains Woods. "When you're dealing with cause and effect, you're always going to be left with ambiguity... because the questions we're supposed to be answering are actually unanswerable. I can't show you why men do what they do — I can only show you the whole mess of male insecurities which might be a contributing factor.
About The Cast
DAVID WENHAM (Brett)Wenham's arresting reprisal of the character of Brett, which he originated in the underlying stage play production, has secured his position among Australia's most promising performing exports. Praised by critics, audiences and his peers, the versatile Wenham has garnered kudos on-stage ("Tartuffe," "Hamlet," "That Eye The Sky," "Cosi" and "The Boys"); on television as star of the popular series Sea Change and in Sons and Daughters, Rafferty's Rules, A Country Practice, Heartland, Return to Jupiter and Simone de Beauvoir's Babies (for which he earned the prestigious Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama); and on-screen (Cosi, Dark City, A Little Bit of Soul and the leading role in Peter Cox's upcoming Damien).
TONI COLLETTE (Michelle)Recipient of a highly-selective Scholarship to the Australian Theatre for Young People, and former student at Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Arts, Collette garnered international acclaim for her captivating lead performance in P.J. Hogan's Muriel's Wedding (Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, AFI Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Asia-Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Actress and Film Critics' Circle of Australia Award for Best Actress). In addition to her breakthrough performance in that film, she has appeared in Spotswood (AFI nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role), Mark Joffe's Cosi, Lillian's Story (AFI Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role), the romantic comedy The Pallbearer, Doug McGrath's box-office hit adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, the stand-out indie black comedy Clockwatchers, and Todd Hayne's couture-delic portrait of the glitter-rock 70's, Velvet Goldmine. She received the AFI Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Michelle in THE BOYS.
On-stage, Collette has distinguished herself in "A Little Night Music" (Sydney Critics' Circle Award for Best Newcomer in a Play or Musical), "Uncle Vanya," and "King Lear," among others.
Collette will appear in the upcoming motion pictures Hotel Sordide, Dead by Monday, Eight and a Half Women and The Sixth Sense starring opposite Bruce Willis.
LYNETTE CURRAN (Sandra)A respected veteran of film and stage, Curran also translates for the screen the role she originated in the stage production of "The Boys." Her nearly fifty stage roles include "The Seagull," "The Real Thing," "The Killing of Sister George," "Citizen of the Year," "The Importance of Being Earnest," "The Day After the Fair," "Under Milkwood," "Richard III" and "The Country Wife." In addition, she has assumed theatrical responsibilities front-stage, directing the plays "Painted Women" and "Wet and Dry."
Equally prolific for her television repertoire, Curran has frequently travelled from the small to the big screen, with film credits that include The Road to Nhill, Just Desserts, Dead to the World, Delinquents, The Year My Voice Broke, Bliss and Phillip Noyce's Heatwave.
JOHN POLSON (Glenn)A Shakespearean-trained actor ("The Merchant of Venice," "Hamlet," "Much Ado About Nothing"), Polson has garnered rave notices and national awards for television (AFI nomination for Best Actor in a Mini-Series for A Long Way Home; Kangaroo Palace; John Duigan's Vietnam; Scott Hicks' Call Me Mister Brown, and film (an AFI nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Prisoner of the Sun and an AFI nomination for Best Supporting Actor and Australian Film Critics' Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Sum of Us (opposite Russell Crowe); and Sirens); as well as for his own directorial work (Sydney Film Festival Best Short Film Award for Audacious) and winner of the 1997 Byron Kennedy Award. Polson is completing his feature-length directorial debut, Siam Sunset. He received the AFI Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in THE BOYS.
JEANETTE CRONIN (Jackie)Cronin is a graduate of the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art. Her theatre credits include the Sydney Theatre Company! production of "The Crucible" (for which she earned a Green Room nomination for Best Female Actor in a Leading Role); "Diving for Pearls" and Jim Sharman's "Miss Julie." Prior to THE BOYS Cronin appeared in the feature films Dark City, Thank God He Met Lizzie, Blackrock, Billy's Holliday and Terra Nova. In 1996, she was awarded the inaugural Mike Walsh Fellowship.
ANTHONY HAYES (Stevie)A staple from many of Australia's most popular television series (G.P., Fallen Angels, Corelli and Naked), Hayes has also performed in the stage production of "Blackrock," and on film in Dial a Cliché, The Dive, The Last Bullet and The Sugar Factory.
ANNA LISE (Nola)Anna Lise graduated in 1996 from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, where she performed on-stage in productions that include "The Cherry Orchard," "Playing With Fire," "The Revengers Comedies," "As you Like It," "The Merchant of Venice" and "The Pajama Game." Following her screen debut in THE BOYS she completed Wanted and The Well.
PETE SMITH (George/Abo)Veteran Maori actor Smith first came to international attention in Geoff Murphy's The Quiet Earth (for which he was awarded New Zealand's coveted G.O.F.T.A. Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film). In addition to his substantial resume on stage ("The Merchant of Venice," "Treat It Right') and on television (Heroes, Plainclothes, Hei Konei Ra), Smith has lent his talents to an impressive array of feature f1lms, including Angel in the Green, Crush, The Piano, Rapa Nui, Once Were Warriors and Flight of the Albatross (receiving the New Zealand Film & Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film). Following THE BOYS Smith completed the historical television drama Greenstone, and the sequel motion picture to Once Were Warriors, What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted.
About the Filmmakers
ROWAN WOODS (Director)Before he even attended Australia's elite Australian Film Television and Radio School, Rowan Woods had already produced and directed a series of Super 8mm and 16mm shorts that are included in the Australian National Gallery Collection. His 16mm work from that period, including the popular Tran the Man (starring David Wenham), travelled internationally through invitations to some of the world's most prestigious film festivals. In addition, Woods entered film school a professional actor, resorting to the pursuit of the degree that is, in Australia, a prerequisite to directing feature films.
Following his graduation from AFTRS in 1993, Woods directed numerous television dramas before teaming up with former colleague Robert Connolly to make his feature directorial debut with THE BOYS. For his feature film launch, Woods also enlisted the talents of several of his short film collaborators, including Wenham, editor Nick Meyers and cinematographer Tristan Milani.
Woods is currently preparing his next feature, "a fable for all ages" adapted from best-selling author Tim Winton's novel, Blueback.
ROBERT CONNOLLY (Producer)Connolly comes to film via the stage, where he worked as a theatrical producer on several plays including "Rooted," "Pearls Before Swine" and, in 1991, the award-winning "The Boys," before he enrolled at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.
While a student at AFTRS, Connolly produced and directed a number of award-winning short films, including Mr. Ikegama's Flight, Roses are Red and Tunnel Vision. Upon graduating, Connolly produced and directed the short film Rust Bucket, which screened at Telluride, the New York Shorts Festival and the Sydney Tropicana Film Festival (Jury Prize and the Best Actor Award).
Connolly's debut into feature film was as an associate producer on All Men are Liars, which also marked his first partnership with noted Australian producer John Maynard. Together, they formed Arenafilm, christened with their joint effort THE BOYS. Connolly is currently preparing his next feature, The Monkey's Mask.
JOHN MAYNARD (Producer)Segueing from a successful career as a museum director, Maynard has established himself over the past twenty years as one of Australia's most instinctual and influential film producers. His support and encouragement of new talent have introduced to world cinema the early works of directors Vincent Ward — Vigil (Official Competition, Cannes Film Festival (1984) and The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (Official Competition, Cannes Film Festival (1988); Jane Campion — Sweetie (Official Competition, Cannes Film Festival 1989) and An Angel At My Table (Silver Lion and Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival 1990); and Anna Campion's Loaded. In 1995, Maynard produced Gerard Lee's All Men Are Liars which was chosen to open the 1995 Sydney Film Festival and went on to earn four Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor.
THE BOYS marks Maynard's first Joint partnership as a producer with Robert Connolly under the banner of their company, Arenafilm.
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