On Saturday evening, a friend and I attended the premiere of the Canberra made and set film, Locks of Love.
The premier was held at the National Film and Sound Archive, with a second screening held simultaneously at Palace Electric cinema in New Acton. My friend and I decided to attend the Palace screening because I love their popcorn and yes, my stomach dictates my actions. We were treated to the speeches of Screen ACT’s president, Monica Penders, and the film’s producer, John Simpson, via video-link – it felt like we were at the premier too, which was a lovely touch.
The feature film is an anthology of 10 stories about love from around the Capital, each arc tying back to the film’s title “Locks of Love” – represented in the short films by a gate in Glebe Park, lined with padlocks that profess love. The stories range from your typical love stories (‘Capital L’ and ‘Love Hurts’) to the less obvious stories about family (‘It’s Not That Simple’, ‘Joy Flight’, ‘Scars’, and ‘Love for the Taking’) and friends (‘The Colour of Friendship’ and ‘Good Monster, Bad Monster’) – and on top of all the feels, there’s also some great laughs to be had (‘A Familiar Feeling’ and ‘To My One and Only’).
I felt like I was watching 10 really, really good Tropfest entries without any crap in the middle – which is perfect! Although, despite being 11 different stories, I was always aware that I was watching a whole film – one story is interwoven amongst the others and then resolved right at the end to tie everything back together. There was only one or two of the stories that I didn’t down right love, but because they only last 10 minutes each, I was happy to just sit through until the next one came along.
While watching the hour and a half film I literally cried and laughed, and despite the lack of time available for character development, I became attached to characters and genuinely cared about their outcomes – a stellar achievement in script writing, I must say! The actors were all tops, and there were some familiar faces too (COLIN LAAAAANE!)
The film is set in and around Canberra, and the city features prominently – I saw Lonsdale Street Roasters and the Belgian Beer Cafe, and the friend I was with exclaimed “hey! I know her!” about one of the actresses in ‘Capital L’. Hell, little old Glebe Park is the almost literal heart of the film. I felt proud to see my beloved home town treated with such warmth.
Locks of Love is a big achievement for Canberra. Developed by ScreenACT, each film was made individually, with an exclusive writer (scripts chosen via panel), cast and crew. Once the short films were completed, all 10 were edited together to make this a feature film. Most excitingly for our little town, the film will be release on Valentine’s Day (see what they did there?) next year (on DVD and online I believe).
A big congrats to everyone involved – and there were A LOT of Canberrans involved – the film is fantastic. I encourage everyone to get their hands on this, to share it with the people you love and to share it with people outside of Canberra – show off our wonderful town and the skills of the people who live here!